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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday, conferred Nigerian citizenship rights on 286 foreigners including Lebanese, British, Americans, Egyptians, Syrians, Italians and Palestinians.
Of the 286 foreign nationals presented with certificates of Nigerian citizenship, 208 received certificates for naturalisation, while 78 got certificates by registration.
‘’You have pledged your allegiance to Nigeria. When you give your love and loyalty to Nigeria, she returns her love and loyalty to you,” Buhari said at the event held at the State House, Abuja.
The President said the Ministry of Interior ensured that only deserving persons were recommended to the Federal Executive Council to be conferred with Nigerian citizenship.
He assured the new citizens that Nigeria is a nation united by the principles of opportunity, equality, and liberty as enshrined in the Constitution.
Buhari said, ‘’No matter where you come from, or what faith you practise, this country is now your country. Our history is now your history, and our traditions are now your traditions. Nigeria is your home and pride and joy.
“You are expected to abide by the ideals and institution of the Nigerian national flag, anthem, pledge and respect for all constituted authorities.
‘’All those concerned with immigration matters are to offer our new citizens quick legal identification. Also, their local governments should assist with their integration into the local community to enable them to enjoy all the entitlements of a Nigerian citizen.’’
In his address, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said, ‘’Without any doubt, Nigeria is a great nation, richly endowed and blessed with great people. Smart people continue to flock to our country to do business with us.’’
He noted that Nigeria would continue to welcome every qualified citizenship applicant.