Indigenous people (IP) and minorities (IM)have similar problems of political, economic, and social marginalisation. The Nigerian government (hiding behind the veil of the African Union) does not recognise the indigenous status of deserving ethnic groups. This has left indigenous minorieties unprotected. Considering the
situation in Africa generally, and in Nigeria specifically, this research work is aimed at answering the following questions:
(1) Will the protection and promotion of the rights of IP in Africa not be effective if they are considered as IM; thereby giving the dominant majority a place in the
‘indigeneity’ of the country? (2) How can the IP of the minority tribes in the Niger Delta be entitled to legal protection
from non-recognition of their status by the government? (3) Assuming, but not conceding, that everyone in Nigeria is indigenous to the country
and to every region of the country, does this deprive IM in an age-long marginalised
region a special attention by means of affirmative action? (4) What legal protection is accorded to minorities among IP? (5) Are there negative implications for ethnic minorities in the different regions of a
country by the blanket recognition of all natives of that country as IP? (6) How can the available legal framework under the United Nations and the African Union for the protection of IP and minorities be effectively utilised to the advantage of IP despite the current position of the African Union on IP?
A Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Law University of Pretoria, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Masters of Law (LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa). Prepared under the supervision of Mr. Angelo Matusse, of the faculty of law, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2008.