Explaining the Dynamics of Islam and Conflict : The Case of Northern Nigeria.

Olomojobi, Yinka (2010) Explaining the Dynamics of Islam and Conflict : The Case of Northern Nigeria. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Nigeria has a complex ethno-religious profile. Thanks to the British colonial administration, a myriad of individual groups professing various faiths and belonging to different ethnicities have found themselves in a tense, unsettled and competitive political system. Unsurprisingly, there have been several attempts to undermine the profile of the state. In spite of these consistent challenges, what is striking, however, is that the Nigerian state has not disintegrated. What explains the persistence of the Nigerian state on the face of these assaults? Traditionally, critics have suggested that the federal structure in Nigeria is responsible for deflating some of the attacks against the state. I, however, propose that the success of the Nigerian state is not only due to the prevalence of a federal structure of governance but also due to the inclusive identity provided by religion. In particular, I explore the role of Islam in an ethnically charged context such as northern Nigeria. While making a cross-regional study of conflict behaviour spanning over the past 60 years in northern Nigeria, I underscore that while primordial identities are key factors responsible for violent upsurge, in those areas where people are bound together by Islam the conflict is less likely to occur. Furthermore, this study showcases that Islam in northern Nigeria acts as a double edged sword as it unites and divides in equal measures. From this particular standpoint, this thesis explains and evaluates the symbiotic relationship between Islam and conflict-prevention. This study argues that the variant of Islam in northern Nigeria is unique as it has become a source for communal unity rather than a source for conflict amongst Muslims in northern Nigeria. In particular, it analyses the conflict behaviour of Muslims and their pursuance of the concept of religious nationalism within a deeply divided and (dis-)united society. This thesis attempts to explore the position of Islam in the conflict dynamics in northern Nigeria. The backbone of this thesis is derived mainly from primary sources through extensive field work, sample questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, participant observation, focus group discussions (FGDs) and interaction with the actual actors in the research arena.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 2010.
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Deposited On:
02 May 2019 16:36
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:36