By Muhammadu Sabiu
A total of 286 foreigners, including 86 Lebanese, 14 Britons, and 4 Americans, received Nigerian citizenship on Thursday in Abuja from the Federal Government.
At the State House, President Muhammadu Buhari granted the affected foreign nationals the status of Nigerian citizens.
By means of naturalization, 208 qualified individuals who signed the declaration declaring themselves to be Nigerians received citizenship.
After they had formally uttered the national pledge and oath of allegiance for Nigeria, the remaining 78 were granted the same status by registration.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Buhari gave the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) instructions to present the new Nigerians with the proper credentials right away.
According to him, this would allow people to start enjoying the prestige bestowed upon them, regardless of where they reside in the nation.
Mr Buhari asked them to uphold national beliefs and make an effort to positively impact the communities in which they live.
The president noted that the event was required under the constitution and was intended to exonerate all lawful citizens of the nation from the label of “statelessness.”
Meanwhile, Rauf Aregbesola, the interior minister, had earlier disclosed that the foreigners had undergone a series of exhaustive examinations by the country’s security agencies before being deemed qualified and deserving of Nigerian citizenship.
He was quoted to have said: “Today’s ceremony is a reminder of our common human ancestry.
”These people came from near and distant lands, from different races, religions, ethnicity, and other social affiliations and identities.”