Eyene OKPANACHI (2010). Ethno-religious Identity and Conflict in Northern Nigeria: Understanding the Dynamics of Sharia in Kaduna and Kebbi States
This study examines the relationship between the Sharia law, identity and conflict in Nigeria. This development is studied within the context of Kaduna and Kebbi states.
The study investigates in historical and empirical manner the implication of the Sharia policy for the formation/transformation of the identities of the different ethno-religious groups within the two states; the ways in which the ethno-religious groups have shaped their own identity in response to the Sharia policy; the role of state institutions in shaping the cultural order of the multicultural settings; and the construction of group identities and boundaries. In doing this, the study asks the following questions: what forms of discord or alliance have emerged over the Sharia policy and what are the implications of these transformations on the dynamics of these states? What is the nature of the citizenship and identity contestations and conflicts that have ensued over the Sharia policy and how have they been managed or mismanaged? To open up the question of the relationship of Sharia to identity, and identity to conflict is to open up some of the most difficult and controversial issues, which are both deeply embedded within, and fundamentally elided by, contemporary understandings of peace and conflict studies in Nigeria.
Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria