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WE ARE NIGERIANS! Civics and History for Primary Schools


Published in Nigeria in 2011 by Kachifo Limited under the imprint, Farafina Educational 253 Herbert Macaulay Way Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria Tel: + 234 1 740 6741; +234 807 736 4217 Email:

Copyright Š Kachifo Limited 2011

A catalogue record for this book is available from the National Library of Nigeria.

ISBN: 978-978-50187-6-9

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission in writing of Kachifo Limited. Within Nigeria, exceptions are allowed in respect of any fair dealing for the purpose of research or any private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under applicable laws, or in case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the copyright owners. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms and in other countries should be sent to Kachifo Limited.

Illustrations: Kayode Onimole Editorial Assistants: Uche Okonkwo, Ibukun Olowu Design and Layout: Olatunde Ashaolu, Akeem Ibrahim

Table of contents Unit 1: Components and Dimensions of Civic Education Lesson 1: Components of civic education Lesson 2: Citizens’ rights Lesson 3: Citizens’ responsibilities Lesson 4: Political rights and responsibilities Lesson 5: Legal and economic rights and responsibilities Lesson 6: Social and cultural rights and responsibilities Lesson 7: The government’s responsibilities Review 1

5 7 10 12 15 19 22 25

Unit 2: Authority and Leadership Lesson 8: Constituted authority Lesson 9: Types of constituted authority Lesson 10: Importance of authority Lesson 11: Good and bad leaders Review 2

29 32 35 38 40

Table of contents Unit 3: National Consciousness Lesson 12: National identity and patriotism Lesson 13: Symbols of our national identity Lesson 14: The constitution Lesson 15: Nigeria and the world Review 3

43 46 50 53 57

Unit 4: Health and Sanitation Lesson 16: Personal hygiene Lesson 17: Sanitation and toilet facilities Lesson 18: Drugs and drug abuse Review 4

60 62 65 69

Unit 5: Social Issues in Nigeria Lesson 19: Poverty Lesson 20: Corruption Lesson 21: Diversity and tolerance Review 5

71 74 76 79



Components of civic education Key words

Civic education teaches us what it means to be citizens of our country. A citizen of a country is someone

Citizen Civic education Component Rights Responsibilities

who comes from that country. If one of your parents is Nigerian, you are a Nigerian citizen. Components of civic education Civic education is important because we need to know our rights and responsibilities in order to be better citizens of Nigeria.

I am a citizen of Nigeria.

Rights and responsibilities are the two most important components of civic education. A component is something that is part of a larger whole. Just like tomatoes and oil are ingredients or components in stew, rights and responsibilities are components of civic education.




In civic education, we learn about things like: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

What it means to be good citizens. Our rights and responsibilities. The government’s responsibilities. How to vote. What is means to have authority.

In the next few lessons, we are going to learn more about our rights and responsibilities as Nigerian citizens.




Citizens’ rights Key words

Rights are the things that all human beings are allowed to do or have. We all have rights, no matter who we are or where we come from. We need rights so that we can live in a world that is fair.

Citizen Equal Fair Freedom Law Rights

As a citizen of a country, you have rights in that country. These rights are written in the law of the country. Nobody can take your rights away from you. Even children have rights. Right to life You have the right to live. No one has the right to kill or harm you. Freedom of movement As a Nigerian citizen, you have the right to move freely in Nigeria. This means that you can travel, live or work anywhere in the country.




Freedom to speak You have the right to say what you think and to speak the truth. Other people cannot force you to shut up if you are telling the truth, even if they do not agree with what you are saying.

I have the right to tell the truth.

Right to education All Nigerian children have the right to go to school. Right to protection All Nigerian children have the right to be protected, clothed, fed and cared for by adults.

Fair and equal treatment No matter who you are, you have the right to be treated fairly and in the same way as other people. All Nigerians have this right whether we are rich or poor, men or women, strong or weak. Another way to think about this is that all Nigerians are equal. We all have equal rights.




Did you know? All Nigerians have equal rights, no matter who we are or which part of Nigeria we come from. We are all equal.

Exercises 1. Find out two more rights that all Nigerian citizens have. 2. R ead the story below and think about who had the right to do what they did. Write down or discuss your answers in groups. The mathematics teacher at Abuja Primary School did not always come to class when she was supposed to. She preferred to sit outside in the shade under the big palm tree. One day, the students decided to report this teacher to the headmistress. The mathematics teacher got very annoyed with the students. She said that they did not have the right to report her because she was their teacher. Did the students have the right to report their teacher?




Citizens’ responsibilities Key words

A responsibility is something that is your job to think about or to do something about.

Law Property Responsibility Rules

We are responsible for how we speak and how we behave. If you say something mean about your friend, you are responsible for what you said. You cannot blame what you said on someone else. Citizens have responsibilities. These are the things that we are supposed to do for our countries and for other citizens. Obey the law All citizens have to obey the law. Laws are the rules of our country. Respect property As citizens we must look after our own property and respect the property of others. Property is something that belongs to someone. For example, if you own a book, it is your property. Respecting other people’s property means that we treat it well and we do not steal or spoil it.


Stealing is wrong.



Respect others’ rights Citizens have to respect the rights of other people. Respecting other people’s rights means that we do not stop them from having their rights. For example, we do not bully other people or force them to do things that they do not want to do. Care for others Citizens also have the responsibility to care for others who are not as strong in some ways as we are.

Did you know? All citizens have responsibilities in their country.

Exercises 1. Can you think of any more responsibilities that Nigerian citizens have? 2. I magine if you lived in a country in which people did not have the responsibility to respect your property. Would you like to live in a country like this?




Political rights and responsibilities Key words

Citizens have different kinds of rights and responsibilities in their country. Some are about the way citizens choose their government. Some are about the way citizens live in their homes and communities.

Election Government Politics Vote

There are five different types of rights and responsibilities that Nigerian citizens have. These are political, legal, social, cultural and economic. In this lesson we are going to learn about political rights. Politics is about how our government works. The government is the group of people chosen by Nigerian citizens to lead Nigeria. Voting In Nigeria and most countries, all adults citizens over 18 have the right to vote. Voting is when citizens choose their government. We vote during an election.




Joining any political party A political party is a group of people who want to be in the government. They share ideas about what the government should do for citizens. All adult citizens have the right to form a political party or to join one. Joining the government Adult citizens in Nigeria have the right to try and join the government. They may want to become local government chairmen, senators, governors or the president. To join the government, you have to first join a political party. Then you have to try and convince other Nigerian citizens to vote for you. Political responsibilities All Nigerian citizens have political responsibilities. The main political responsibility that Nigerian citizens have is to vote for our government. This is important because it allows Nigerians to decide for ourselves what kind of government we want.




Another political responsibility that Nigerian citizens have is to let other people vote freely. Some people try to win elections by forcing people to vote for them. Others try to pay citizens to vote for them. It is wrong to force or pay other people to vote for someone.

Did you know? Voting for the government is one of the main political responsibilities of Nigerian citizens.

Exercises 1. Critical thinking: Why is voting one of the main political responsibilities of Nigerian citizens? Why is it important that citizens take part in choosing their government? 2. Find out the names of three political parties in Nigeria today.



22 5

Legal and economic rights and responsibilities Key words

The word “legal” means about the law. The word “economic” is about people having jobs and earning money. In Nigeria all citizens have legal and economic rights and responsibilities.

Court Economic Judge Law Lawyer Legal Tax

Legal rights If someone does something wrong to you, you have the right to use the law to make things better. For example, if someone steals from you, you have the right to report him or her to the police. You also have the right to take the thief to court. Court is the place where people go to explain why they broke the law. Judges and lawyers work in court. A judge is the person who decides whether or not someone did something wrong. A lawyer tries to make the judge understand what happened.




A judge can send you to jail if he or she thinks you are guilty of breaking the law. No one wants to be in jail. People in jail are not free.

Legal responsibilities As a citizen, you are responsible for obeying the law and for reporting people who break the law. You should report people who break the law to the police.




Economic rights Economic is a word that has to do with people’s jobs and businesses. It also has to do with the money that people earn. Every adult citizen of Nigeria has the right to have a job and to earn money. We also all have the right to be anything that we want to be. You may decide to become a teacher, musician, football player or pilot when you grow up. You have the right to decide.

Economic responsibilities When citizens earn money, they have the responsibility to pay a part of this money to the government. The money that citizens pay to the government is called tax. The government uses tax money to provide services for citizens, like roads, schools and hospitals. It also uses tax money to pay policemen and women, public school teachers and doctors who work in public hospitals. If citizens do not pay their tax, the government will not have enough money to do its work.




Did you know? Citizens have the right to report people who break the law to the police. Citizens have the right to work and earn money.

Exercises 1. Which of the following people would you report to if you saw somebody taking something that does not belong to him or her? How do the other people help to make sure citizens do not break the law? a. A lawyer b. A policeman c. A judge 2. What do you want to be when you grow up? Draw a picture of how you imagine yourself working in this job. Remember you have the right to become anything you want.



22 6

Social and cultural rights and responsibilities Key words

Social rights and responsibilities have to do with the way that we live in our homes and communities. They are also about how citizens treat each other.

Culture Property Social

Social rights In Nigeria, all citizens have the right to live in a clean place, to go to school for education and to go to the hospital when we are ill. These are some of our social rights.

Social responsibilities We are responsible for keeping our country clean. We are responsible for respecting other people’s rights and property. We are responsible for not telling lies about other people These are some of our social responsibilities.

Littering is wrong.




Cultural rights Cultural rights have to do with our culture. We all have the right to love and belong to our culture. Nobody has the right to force us to change our culture.

We show our culture in our festivals, the way that we dress and the kinds of food that we eat. If you are Efik, you have the right to eat Efik food. If you are Fulani, you have the right to wear Fulani clothes. You also have the right to try things which come from other cultures. Cultural responsibilities We have the responsibility to respect other people’s cultures. Other people may not wear the same kinds of clothes as we do. They may eat different kinds of foods. They may belong to different religions. We do not have the right to force others to change any of these things. We do not have the right to say that other people’s culture is bad just because it is different from ours.




Did you know? The Eyo and the Argungun festivals are among the cultural festivals celebrated in Nigeria.

Exercises 1. What part of Nigeria are you from? Find out what people from another part of the country wear. Draw a picture of them in their cultural outfits. 2. Name three things that you do to keep your environment clean. Are these part of your social or cultural responsibilities?




The government’s responsibilities Key words

The government is the group of people chosen by citizens to lead their country.

Elections Government Public Tax

In Nigeria, our government has the following responsibilities: Protection The government protects us by making sure that everyone obeys the law. It does so by hiring policemen and policewomen. The job of the police is to keep Nigerian citizens safe. Education and hospitals The government is responsible for making sure citizens have education and hospitals. The government builds public schools. These are free for all Nigerian students to attend. It builds public hospitals to which all Nigerians can go when they are sick. Something public belongs to everybody in a country.




Sanitation The government is responsible for making sure that Nigeria is a clean country. The government provides citizens with public dustbins. It arranges for these dustbins to be emptied every few days.




Spending tax money properly Tax is the money that citizens pay to the government. It comes out of the money that citizens earn at work.


Free and fair elections Citizens vote for the government during elections. The government has to make sure that there is no cheating or fighting during elections. When there is no cheating or fighting, elections are free and fair.

The government is responsible for spending tax money properly. It is supposed to spend this money on things that will make all citizens’ lives better. People in the government are not allowed to use tax money for themselves. The government spends tax money on things like roads, schools and hospitals. It also uses tax money to pay the people who work for it, like policemen and women, teachers in public schools and doctors in public hospitals.




Did you know? Citizens have to pay tax so the government has enough money to do its job.

Exercises 1. What are some of the responsibilities of the Nigerian government? What might happen if our government did not meet these responsibilities? 2. What are some of the things that the government is supposed to do with tax money? Write a sentence describing each of the things that the government is supposed to provide below.




Key words Citizen Cultural Economic Government Law

Legal Political Responsibilities Rights Social

What have I learned? 1. All Nigerian citizens have rights and responsibilities. 2. Nigerian citizens have five different types of rights and responsibilities. These are political, legal, economic, social and cultural. 3. The Nigerian government has many responsibilities towards Nigerian citizens.

Fill in the gaps Fill in the gaps with these key words that you learned in Unit 1:




1. A ______________ is the person in court who decides whether or not someone did something wrong. 2. As a Nigerian __________________, you will have the right to vote when you are eighteen years old.




3. ________________ is the money that citizens pay to the government. The government uses this money to do its work.

Matching exercise Match the first part of the phrases on the left with their correct endings on the right. All citizens have

something that you are allowed to do.

A right is

speak the truth.

Everyone has the right to

other people may lose their rights.

A responsibility is

rights and responsibilities.

If you do not accept responsibility

something that you have to do or think about.




Critical thinking Read the story below and answer the questions. You have to think about how your rights go with your responsibilities. When you are eighteen, you will have the right to vote for the government. Imagine that you want to vote for the new president of Nigeria. Two people are running to become the president of Nigeria. These people are called candidates. They have both made promises about what they will do if they become president.

Vote for me. I will give all Nigerians light.

Vote for me. I will give all Nigerians water.

1. As a citizen who is going to vote, how can you make sure that you make a good decision? 2. Should you read the newspapers and listen to what the candidates are promising to do?




You have now decided whom you want to vote for. Some of your friends do not agree with your decision. They want to change your mind. 3. Do you have the right to make up your mind by yourself? 4. Do your friends have the right to explain why you should choose another candidate? 5. Do your friends have the right to force you to change your mind? On the day of the election, you go to vote. Hardly anyone from your community has come to vote. They do not care who wins the election.

6. Do citizens have the responsibility to vote during elections? 7. If citizens do not vote and Nigeria ends up with a bad government, who will be responsible for this?




Constituted authority Key words

Power and authority There are many people in your life who tell you what to do. Power is when you can tell someone to do something.

Authority Constituted authority Law Organization Power

Give me your lunch money! Please put away your toys neatly.

In these pictures, the mother and the bully are using their power to make the boy do something. The mother has authority. The bully does not have authority. Authority is when you have the right to use your power.




What is constituted authority? Constituted authority is when a person or group gets their authority from the law of a country or the rules of an organization. The law or rules say that these people have the right or the authority to tell others what to do.

Please buckle up your seatbelt.

For example, the Nigerian police have constituted authority. The law of the country gives policemen and women the right to tell citizens what to do. Teachers have constituted authority within a school. The school rules give them the right to punish naughty students. Every country and organization needs constituted authority. People with constituted authority help to maintain law and order.




Did you know? Authority is the right to use power. Constituted authority comes from the law of a country or rules of an organization.

Exercises 1. Which of the people in the pictures below have authority?

2. W hich of the people in the pictures have constituted authority? Explain your answers.




Types of constituted authority Key words

All around us are people who have constituted authority. It is important to know who these people are so that we can obey and respect them.

Constituted authority Leaders Organization Respect

Traditional rulers Traditional rulers are women and men who have authority because of their tradition or culture. They help to maintain the culture of their community.




Religious leaders These are men and women who lead and guide members of a religion.

Political leaders These are women and men who have been elected or chosen to work in our government. Examples of political leaders in Nigeria are the president, governors, ministers, senators and local government chairmen and chairwomen.

Local Government Chairwoman






Heads of organizations There are many different types of organizations in Nigeria. Schools, businesses and clubs are organizations. The head of an organization is the person who leads it. They may be called the chairperson, director, principal or manager.

Did you know? There are different types of leaders in Nigeria.

Exercises 1. Who is the president of Nigeria? _________________________________ Who is the governor of the state in which you live in Nigeria? _________________________________ What is the name of your headmistress or headmaster? _________________________________ 2. Where do these people get their constituted authority from? school rules

the law


the police



Importance of authority Key words

Do we really need authority? Think of all the rules that you follow every day. Sometimes it seems as if there are too many rules.

Authority Order Rules

Then think about all the people in authority who sometimes tell you what to do. There may even seem to be too many people in authority. Please obey the traffic lights.

Please tidy up your room.

Please do your homework.

Have you ever wondered what might happen if there were no rules and no people in authority? Imagine if you wake up one morning and find that there is no longer any authority. All rules, laws, police, courts, teachers, school principals and governments have disappeared. What do you think it would be like?




This is what our streets might look like.

This is what our classrooms might look like.




Why we need authority We need to have people with authority in our homes, schools and country. These are some of the reasons why: 1. Authority helps to keep us safe. 2. Authority helps us to protect our property. 3. Authority helps us to keep order. When there is authority and when there are rules, our homes, schools and country are fairer and safer places for everyone.

Did you know? We need people with authority so that we can have order.

Exercises 1. Describe what is happening in the two pictures on page 36 because there is no authority. Would you like to be in places like these? Why or why not? 2. What do these two pictures tell us about why we need authority in our country, Nigeria?




Good and bad leaders Key words Abuses Law and order Leaders

People who have authority are sometimes called leaders.

Leaders may be good or bad. A good leader is one who does good things. He or she protects other people’s rights. He or she listens to what other people want. He or she makes sure that there is law and order within the community.

Please tell me what you would like me to do.

Bad leaders are dishonest. They may lie to other people and steal their money. They do not care about what other people want.




They do not allow other people to have their rights. We need good leaders in Nigeria. You do not have the right to tell me what you want!

Did you know? Not all leaders are good leaders. A bad leader is someone who abuses his or her authority.

Exercises 1. List three ways in which good Nigerian leaders behave. 2. What do you think Nigerians can do if we have bad leaders. Do we have the right to complain about any of our leaders who are bad? How can we do so?




Key words Authority Constituted authority Law

Leader Power

What have I learned? 1. Authority is the right to use power. 2. Not everyone who has power has authority. 3. Constituted authority comes from the law of a country or the rules of an organization. 4. Good leaders use their authority to do good things, while bad leaders use their authority to do bad things. 5. Nigeria needs good leaders.

Critical thinking Are these people using their power with or without authority? Explain why. 1. Hauwa’s father says, “Please take your plate to the kitchen.” 2. The policeman says, “You may cross the street when the light is green.” 3. Obi says, “If you don’t give me your homework, I will beat you up.”




Matching exercise Match the first part of the phrases on the left with their correct endings on the right: Power

are people who have authority.


comes from the laws of a country.

Constituted authority

is the right to use power.


can be used with or without authority.

Imagine this Imagine that you wake up one morning and find that there is no longer any authority in Nigeria. There is no headmistress in school, no police and no government. Write a short story about all the things that might happen on your way from home to school if there were no longer people in authority to make sure that everyone follows the rules.



1 2

Read this story Read the story below and answer the questions. You have to think about how people should use their authority correctly. Femi is the manager of Uche Superstore. There is a long line of people waiting to pay. He sees a woman jumping to the front of the line. The other people in the line get upset. They ask the woman to go to the back of the line. She says, “No.” 1. Does Femi have authority in the shop? Why? 2. What should Femi do when he sees the woman jumping the line? 3. What if the woman who jumped to the front of the line is a friend of Femi’s? Should this change what he decides to do? Why or why not?



22 12 1

National identity and Taking care patriotism of my environment Key words

Nation is another word for country. Nigeria is a nation. To have a national identity means that you belong to a nation or country. When you say “I am a Nigerian,� you are saying that Nigeria is the nation you come from.

Foreigners Calabash Orange Nation Traditional Patriotism Leadership Unity

What makes you Nigerian? 1. You live in Nigeria. I am a 2. At least one of your parents is Nigerian Nigerian. 3. The food you eat is Nigerian. 4. The language you speak is from Nigeria. 5. You love Nigeria. Emesiere





Patriotism Patriotism is when people love their country very much. It is when people are proud to come from their country. Patriotism creates unity. Nigeria is a big country with lots of different kinds of people. When we are patriotic, we love our fellow Nigerians, even if they are different from us.

Patriotism can help us make Nigeria better. If we love our country, we will want to work hard to make our country a better place. If we are patriotic, we will choose good leaders for Nigeria and be good leaders ourselves. We will not choose leaders who will waste Nigeria’s money. Patriotic Nigerians also give Nigeria a good name. When we meet foreigners, we tell them about all the good things in Nigeria. We show them that we are happy and proud to be Nigerian. Foreigners are people who do not come from our country.




Did you know? Patriotism is when you love your country very much. Nigeria needs patriotic citizens.

Exercises 1. Describe what is happening in each picture below and how it shows Nigerians being patriotic.

2. L ist or draw some of the things that make you a Nigerian. This could be anything that you love about Nigeria.




Symbols of our national identity Key words

A symbol is something that stands for something else. Nigerian symbols stand for Nigeria. National flag The Nigerian flag is green-whitegreen. The green colour is a symbol of all the things that can grow in Nigeria. The white colour is a symbol of peace and love for our nation.

Anthem Coat of arms Currency Motto Passport Pledge Symbol

This has been our flag since Nigeria’s independence in 1960. Independence was when Nigeria became a free country. Can you colour in this flag?

National currency The money that we spend in Nigeria is called naira and kobo. This is our national currency. We can only spend it in Nigeria. We cannot use naira to buy food, clothes or toys in other countries.




National coat of arms The coat of arms is a symbol that represents Nigeria.

On the coat of arms is written the national motto. This motto is “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.� It tell us what all good citizens should want for Nigeria. The black shield on the coat of arms represents the good land that we have in Nigeria, on which many things grow. The Y with the silver bands represents the Rivers Niger and Benue. The national animal in Nigeria is the eagle. It is on the top of the coat of arms. It represents strength and pride. The two white horses stand for the integrity and dignity of our country. Integrity means honesty. Dignity means value or importance. Our national flower also is on the coat of arms. It is called the costus spectabilis. It represents the beauty of Nigeria.




National anthem Arise O compatriots Nigeria’s call obey To serve our fatherland With love and strength and faith The labour of our heroes past Shall never be in vain To serve with heart and might One nation bound in freedom Peace and unity

This part of the anthem tells Nigerian citizens that we should serve Nigeria. Nigerians should serve Nigeria because it is our country. We should be proud of Nigeria.

O God of creation, Direct our noble cause Guide our leaders aright Help our youth the truth to know In love and honesty to grow And living just and true Great lofty heights attain To build a nation where peace And justice shall reign

This part of the anthem is like a prayer. It asks God to help Nigerian leaders and citizens to make Nigeria great. All Nigerians need to work together to build our country.

National pledge I pledge to Nigeria my country To be faithful, loyal and honest To serve Nigeria with all my strength To defend her unity And uphold her honour and glory So help me God


The pledge is a promise we make to Nigeria. We promise to be good citizens of Nigeria. We promise to serve Nigeria.



National passport A national passport is a document that people need when they travel outside their country. It tells people in other countries which country you come from. It also shows which government is responsible for you. All Nigerians have the right to have a Nigerian passport. The Nigerian passport is green.

Did you know? Nigeria also has a national bird called the black crowned crane.

Exercises 1. R ead the national anthem and the pledge carefully. What does the anthem ask us to do? What responsibilities can you see in the anthem and the pledge for Nigerian citizens? 2. What does the green and white in the Nigerian flag stand for?




The constitution Key words

The constitution is a very important book. It is the highest law in Nigeria. All other laws in Nigeria come from the constitution.

Constitution Enforce Government Law

The constitution tell us what the Nigerian government is supposed to do. It also gives us our rights as citizens of Nigeria. The first words of the constitution are “We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.� This is because the constitution is about all Nigerian people. It is written by the people for the people. We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


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