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Fifteen years ago, Mama said, starting her story, I came to Lagos from Ghana. I came to Nigeria because I was considered an alien in that country. The government of Ghana passed a law asking all aliens without resident permits to regularise their stay in the country'. This story of migration, identities and lives undermined by cynical and xenophobic politics pushed to its logical and terrible conclusion pertains to the Ghanaian orders of `alien compliance' issued in 1970-1971, which determined to force all non-ethnic Ghanaians, so called illegal immigrants, to return to their - so stipulated - `home'. The novel thus touches on concerns of deeper relevance to the politics of race and migration of the twenty first century.