CONFLICT IN NIGERIA Assignment Words: 872

Muslims may be a ma-Sorority, but if so they are barely that. Islam has functioned in cultural and pop-Leticia terms to create unity in northern Nigeria. Indeed, as Nigeria moved too 12-state system in 1967 from one of four regions and then to a federal republic with 19 states in 1976, it became nieces-Sara to stress Islamic unity in the 10 northern states where two-thirds of the population was Muslim.

In order to maintain the dominance of the north in national politics, Islam had to provide the glue that had disappeared tit the demise of the old Native Administrate-Zion, the regional reassurance, and the party that had ruled the north in the First Republic-the Northern Peoples’ Congress. 22 When the military left power in 1979, the NP tried to appeal beyond the north. Under institutional provisions, in orders o Electra president,it had o win at least a quarter of the votes in two-thirds of the states. AT he NP could not campaign as a Muslim party and it had cost the administrative did hath ad supported the old ruling Northern Pee-apples’ Congress. But it retained the sup-port of Islamic elites in the north and it also had the support of many high-ranking officers, some but not all of 21 . Ibid. , p. 23. 22. Dudley, Introduction to Nigerian Govern-meet and Politics, p. 163. 23. In fact, She Shari did not win quite 25 percent of the vote in 12 states but in a series of contested court actions he was declared president in the 1979 elections by virtue of having won 20 percent of the vote in the twelfth state. Homo were Muslims. 24TH he NP was seen as a Muslim party in the north. With the chairman of the NP coming from the west, the president of the republic from the north, the vice press-dent from the east-an alignment us-attained in the second election of 1983- Nap’s ointment zone arty traders would have been under pressure if the civilian regime had continued and the posts had to be rotated by place of origin in 1988.

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At the same time, as it became nieces-Sara to stress Islam in order to maintain northern unity that was under pressure from the creation of more states, Islam itself often worked to intensify fissures opened up by social and economic changes. Appeals for social Justice were made in Islamic terms. Thus, as reform and purifications pavements intentioned to proliferate,’ slam s a religions ND a set of cultural symbols was not solely a force for unity in the northern states. It was interpreted variably by different social groups.

Elites tried to maintain theirs eminence y manipulating do-erne and traditional institutions in the name of Islam while businessmen lilt mosques and workers made demands through Islamic terminology. At the same time, Muhammad Maria AP-pealed to fringe groups to follow him to an Islamic revival. OFF Rutherford, the 24. The Briar regime, which came in at the end of 1983, actually as had the most Muslims among its leadership of all the five military regimes since 1966-the other four being Irony’s, Gown’s, Mohammedan, Bassoon’s. Irons and Gown were Christians, as was Bassoon.

I have focused much more on the impacts f Islam Han of Christianity n political legitimacy and the role of the state in Nigeria because Islam has been, in the north, an unofficial state religion. Moreover, the struggle to define the relationship of religion to the state has been a struggle around the role of Islamic WI n Nigeria. Thee verve napping- elation of religious symbols both to Jus-tiff the rule of elites and to challenge that rule as been a manipulation of Islamic values and symbols more than Christian ones.

There is reason to believe, however, that some Christian sects provide for their followers a measure of autonomy from established authority, both reel-Sioux and secular. The development of Ladder Christianity-the praying churches such as the Christ Apostolic Church and the Cherubim and Sera-pimp in Hardbound-seems to go hand in glove with the development of values and attitudes of industriousness and business. That is, the adherents of the Ladder hurdles o not appear s CEO- omicron addicts,a Thought hem ay insist on a measure of political independence from established authorities. AS o far, though, the impact of Christianity in Nigeria has been less directly cones-sequential for the struggle for political legitimacy and control of authoritative roles at central and state levels than has been the impact of Islam. Nigeria has not evolved political formulas hate explicitly Lori elision r religious theorists defined astigmatic. But there have been struggles carried out in religious terms over constitute-cantonal champions r adjudicating n-flick. Religion as been an element in the conflicts twenty ethnic-language pups.

And religion provides a language, a set of values,a NDIS institution’s rough which groups struggle and over which groups contend, both within and between reel-Sioux communities. 26. For a major study of the adoption of Ala-durra Christianity, see J. D. Y. Peel, Ladder:A Religious Movement among the Your (Loon-don: Oxford university Reese, 1968). P eel is con-current o explain he fundamental characters f a religion f industrialization the Yearbook intent as a new morality of obeying rules. Ibid. , p. 299. 60 This content

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