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Religion and Politics in Nigeria, a Case Study of Nigeria's First Repulic

  • Date Submitted: 04/07/2012 12:25 PM
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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
By way of introduction several religions in Nigeria exist, helping to accentuate regional and ethnic distinctions. All religions represented in Nigeria were practiced in every major city in 1990. However, Islam dominated the north and had a number of supporters in the South Western, Yoruba part of the country. Protestantism and local syncretic Christianity are also in evidence in Yoruba areas, while Catholicism dominates the Igbo and closely related areas. Both Protestantism and Catholicism dominated in the Ibibio, Annang, and the Efik kiosa lands. The 1963 census indicated that 47 percent of Nigerians were Muslim, 35 percent Christian, and 18 percent members of local indigenous congregations. In general, however, the country should be seen as having a dominant Muslim north, a mixed Christian and Muslim Southwest and Middle belt, a non-Muslim, primarily Christian South East and South-South, with each as a minority faith in the other's region (Wikipedia, 2011). In addition, JOHN ONAIYEKAN, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Co-Chairman, Nigerian Inter-religious Council (NIREC) in a public lecture delivered in May 2010, said that the BBC announced that it had carried out a survey of the nations of the world and arrived at the conclusion that Nigeria was the most religious nation in the world.   It did not explain the details of the criteria used to arrive at this conclusion.
The need for political stability in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, all segments of the Nigerian society are interested in the political future of the nation. However, this interest is approached from various dimensions. A major interest in the Nigerian polity is the relationship between religion and politics. The Nigerian society is religiously pluralized and this significantly influences political decisions and policies of the nation. Religion has a place in the live of every nation, Nigeria included....

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