Religion, Politics and Governance in Nigeria


This paper examines the participation of religious groups in governance and development in Nigeria. It argues that the close interaction between the state and religious and faith-based organisations (FBOs) reflects the widespread perception that Nigeria is not a secular state. Case studies of Anambra, Kano and Oyo States illustrate that the relationship between the Nigerian state and Muslim and Christian organisations and FBOs is frequently ambiguous: while both world religions provide groups and individuals with moral frameworks to articulate their demands and critiques of the state, they also challenge institutions of common interest provided by the state: the Muslim critique of secular law has led to the introduction of shari'a law in 12 Nigerian states, while Christian demands for a re-privatization of former mission schools currently under state control might further emphasize Muslim disadvantage in education.


Working Paper 39, Religions and Development Research Programme, University of Birmingham, UK, ISBN: 0-704427788, 125 pp.

Religion, Politics and Governance in Nigeria

Published 1 January 2009