NIGERIA, SHARIA PRAXIS AND NATIONAL INTEGRATION: ANY LESSONS FROM THE SUDAN EXPERIENCE?

Abstract

This paper examines critically the implication of wide scale adoption of sharia in a multi religious and pluralistic Nigeria. Specifically, it studies the effect of the legal system on the national integration and unity which paradoxically constitutes mantra in the mouth of almost every Nigerian national. It is discovered that the entrenchment of the criminal and non-personal aspects of Islamic law by the core northern states had become a counter-point on the corporate existence of Nigeria. This is more so as the country’s Constitution had restricted the application of sharia to its personal regime. The Boko Haram menace that ravages the country and its environs may not be unconnected with the much dreamt of islamization of the whole sovereign enclave. Yet, it is further noted that the huge population of southern Christians that virtually constitute half of the nation’s population cannot be cowed into the proselytist agenda. This development is a threat to national unity. A comparative analysis of the socio-legal phenomenon in relation to Sudan before the emergence of South Sudan was a task before the writer, especially as the Muslim/Christian ratio in the pre-divided Sudan resembles that in Nigeria. More still, the comparison is ad rem as the north-south religious divide in both jurisdictions is almost coterminous. This study recommends national dialogue, religious toleration, patriotic spirit, avoidance of fanaticism, inter alia, as antidote to disintegration.

Keywords: Law, National integration, Nigeria, Sharia, South Sudan, Sudan


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 6-25 (Download PDF)

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