Monday, February 09, 2015

Causes Growth Nature of Religious Extremism in Nigeria

Ques 36. Critically comment on the causes, growth and nature of religious fundamentalism and extremism in Nigeria.

Ans. Nigeria received independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. Much before Independence the regional demographics of Nigeria were suffering from communal tension and the case is same today also. Christians are in majority in South eastern and Central parts of Nigeria whereas Muslims are in majority in the Northern and South Western parts of Nigeria and this has been the status quo for many decades now. Stark differences can also be observed in Muslim and Christian dominated areas when it comes to development, liberal environment, women’s rights, sense of security, healthy culture etc. Above factors have gradually developed in Christian dominated areas but they have been ignored by adamant religion chauvinists in northern parts.

In 1967 civil war broke out in Nigeria resulting in successive five coups that ended in 1970 and then peace followed. Thing went haywire again in 1980 when Islamic preacher Maitatsine, a self proclaimed prophet assisted by Muslim relics opposed westernisation and revitalized communal tensions in which many people lost their lives. He was killed by Nigerian army in a counter operation ensuring a temporary peaceful ambience.

Boko Haram a terrorist outfit in Nigeria has been active from 2002 and latest atrocities committed by them include –

Abducting 276 school girls last year who have still not been traced. 

Bombed a High School on 10th November at Potiskum killing 48 children.

Killing 48 fish vendors.

The above killed were maximum Christians so probably in response 100 people were killed when a Kano city Mosque was bombed recently.

On the whole terrorist activities are mainly carried out in Northern Nigeria when compared to central and southern Nigeria which is much developed culturally and ideological from its Northern counterpart.

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