The Interplay Of Politics And Religion In Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: A Case Study Of Adamawa State
It is truism that Nigeria is one of the most religious countries in the world. Religion is often employed among politicians, policy makers and religious leaders, as a determining factor in who occupies public offices and a major influence on policy direction of government. The intrigue and nuances that usually go into this process, more often than not, lead to a compromise of public interests by the religious stakeholders and political gladiators, especially after elections. The total population for the study is 200 members of APC party of selected local government in Adamawa State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up ward chairmen, ward elders, ward secretaries and ward legal advisers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
1.1 Background of the Study
Religion has been an indispensable phenomenon in Nigeria. It had become an important factor in political discourse (Adigwe and Grau, 2007). The influence of religion is not only limited to politics but its power influences virtually all other facets of life. Political power affects economic prosperity, social relation, educational advancement, and the psych of the society. There are three dominant religions in Nigeria: African Traditional Religion, Islam and Christianity. All these religions and their ideologies allow for interaction between religion and politics.Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with an estimated 160 million people, and among its most diverse, with more than 250 distinct ethnic and linguistic groups. Islam and Christianity are nearly equally represented, while African traditional religions are also prevalent (Lewis, 2011:2). In much of the news and discourse on Nigeria, the country is represented in sharp divisions between a ‘largely Muslim north’ and a ‘predominantly Christian south’. This narrative, while a convenient short-hand, ignores the brimming diversity in both halves of Nigeria and glosses over the intricate ethnic, religious and social ties that have been responsible for holding the country together through many episodes of turbulence. In today’s Nigeria the north and the south are home to an ethnically and religiously mixed population.
Across the country Muslims and Christians have co-existed peacefully for decades, and they inter-marry in the southwest where identity is mainly shaped by regional culture and values (Hoffmann, 2014:5). However, weak institutions and mobilization of identity groups are often exploited by Nigeria’s ruling class for their own selfish benefit. Religion has increasingly become more divisive in Nigeria and has exacerbated tension along fault lines. While it is generally believed that ethnic identification is presumed to be the most salient and consistent source of social identity in Nigeria (Lewis, 2007 cited in Okpanachi, 2010:7), this common assumption is challenged by a research by the Pew Religious Forum which revealed that religion, rather than ethnicity is the most salient identity in the country. Political activists exploit the religious factor, knowing that religious factor is the deepest and strongest rallying point. It has strong images or symbols, values and commitments; it evokes strong emotions (Agu, 2010:10).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Political scientists believe that man is a political animal. This means that we cannot do without politics as well as religion in our everyday life. Therefore, since we make use of each of them in our daily activities, we tend to politicize religion and religionize politics. Thus, Nigerian politics is characterized chiefly by “politicization of religion and religionization of politics” (Adogame, 2006). Mixing the two together makes religion to lose its sanctity and politics to become dirtier. This reality is manifested in the nature of Nigeria’s postcolonial state system, particularly the capture and control of state power by a self-centred, and divided political class that strategically used religion and politics to divide the people, consolidate and extend its control over resources and power in Nigeria’s emerging capitalist formation. It on this view the researcher wants to investigate the interplay of politics and religion in Nigeria fourth republic.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The major objectives of the study are:
- To ascertain the effect of politics and religion in Adamawa State
- To ascertain whether interplay of politics and religion brought togetherness in Adamawa State
- To ascertain whether politics and religion influence each other in Adamawa State
- To ascertain the relationship between politics and religion
1.4 Research Hypotheses
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
- H0: there is no effect of politics on religion in Adamawa State.
H1: there is effect of politics on religion in Adamawa State
- H02: politics and religion does not influence each other in Adamawa State
H2: politics and religion influence each other in Adamawa State
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the people of Adamawa and the entire nation. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The scope of the study covers the interplay of politics and religion in Nigeria’s fourth republic: a case study of Adamawa State.The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) Availability of Research Material:
The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational Privacy:
Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 Definition of Terms
The ways in which two or more things, groups, etc., affect each other when they happen or exist together.
Politics is the process of making decisions applying to all members of each group. More narrowly, it refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance organized control over a human community, particularly a state.
Religion is any cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations that relate humanity to the supernatural or transcendental.
1.8 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the interplay of politics and religion in Nigeria’s fourth republic: a case study of Adamawa States
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of interplay of politics and religion in Nigeria’s fourth
This study was on the interplay of politics and religion in Nigeria’s fourth republic: a case study of Adamawa States. Four objectives were raised which included: To ascertain the effect of politics and religion in Adamawa State, to ascertain whether interplay of politics and religion brought togetherness in Adamawa State, to ascertain whether politics and religion influence each other in Adamawa State, to ascertain the relationship between politics and religion. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 members of APC party of selected local government in Adamawa State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up ward chairmen, ward elders, ward secretaries and ward legal advisers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
In conclusion, religion has been used and is still being used to induce violence and has caused stunted growth to our political stability and sustainable development. The relationship between religion and politics in any society should be mutual, and if properly managed, bring about tranquility and development. On the other hand, if the relationship is not properly managed, it could generate conflict. This is because religion is about personal experience and access to divine powers, while politics is all about gaining political power for personal reasons. Since these are mutually and exclusively related, there is constant need for symbiotic relationship. Hence, religion can either bring conflict or peace, development or destruction, growth or retardation, stability or instability, security or insecurity. It depends on how it is made use of along with politics. The mixing of both religion and politics is not a problem, but the level of moral standard, patriotism towards the country and proper understanding of religion are the determining factor
The government should give more power to the National Religious Advisory Board and the Nigeria Inter-religious Council in promoting inter-religious dialogue and religious tolerance through organizing seminars and workshops for religious adherents which will help in building sustainable political development. Haynes (2009:68) argues that when interfaith dialogue is skillfully organized and pursued, it can encourage those who have personally involved in conflict to work together towards peace accommodation
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