AS Nigeria is celebrating the 58 years of independence today, some Nigerians are dreaming of emigrating, not to the United States of America or Europe, or any other country where the grass is greener, but to a country in the space – Asgardia.
Currently, nearly 600 Nigerians have signed up for the citizenship of Asgardia. And they are all from different parts of Nigeria.
The ICIR found that people aspiring to dump Nigerian citizenship for Asgardia are mostly youths from Lagos (284), Ibadan (273) and Abuja (80). There are also applicants from Aba, Edo, Calabar, Ekiti, Gombe and others.
Asgardia is a space nation founded by a Russian-Azerbaijani scientist and businessman, Igor Ashurbeyli. He named his dream country after a city in ancient Norse mythology, Asgard, known as the country of the gods.
The philosophy shaping the idea of Asgardia is to ‘digitalise’ the Noosphere, the mirror image of humanity in space, but without the Earthly division into states, religions and nations.
“In Asgardia, we are all – Earthlings!,” said Ashurbeyli.
Since the creation of the country, over 272,000 people from more 200 countries across the world including Nigerians have signed up to live in the space nation.
More than 100,000 people applied in the 40 hours following the announcement of Asgardia’s creation on October 12, 2016, and more than 500,000 applied in the first 20 days.
Special preference was however given to the first hundred thousand people who applied prior to the launch of the first satellite, Asgardia-1, in November 2017.
The satellite delivered half a terabyte of data to space including information about Asgardia and its citizens, as well as key information such as its national symbols (coat of arms, flag, anthem) and the nation’s constitution.
Notwithstanding, the citizenship of the space kingdom will be available to all people on Earth, regardless of their earthly jurisdiction, according to a statement on the Asgardia’s website.
Upon registration on the nation’s website, new Asgardian receives a certificate with a unique ID number. This ID number, authorities of Asgardia say, will be used for receiving an ID card and passport, as well as various government services, including social and banking services.
On June 25, 2018, Ashurbeyli was inaugurated as the first Head of Nation of Asgardia at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, marking the first commission of leadership of the space nation.
The Asgardian president has pledged that the new nation would ensure the peaceful use of space, create a demilitarised and free scientific base of knowledge in space, as well as provide free access for all, “especially for those in developing countries who do not currently have access to space access.”