Historical roots of the manipulation of religion in Northern Nigeria

The rise of fundamentalist groups and the plight of ethnic and religious minorities


  • Emmanuel Osewe Akubor


Religion, fundamentalism, religious minorities, Nigeria


The manipulation of religion, especially by religious and political leaders, has plagued Nigeria ever since it gained its independence in 1960. The inability of the government and people to check this rising tide has led to religious violence in various parts of the country. This manipulation has led to the emergence of fundamentalist groups who are no longer interested in just creating internal crises but are currently working towards the disintegration of the country and the creation of a religious state. Thus, it is not surprising that the Boko Haram group, which made itself known in 2009, has taken over parts of the northern region. As a result, minorities in these occupied areas are often the target of attacks. These groups are frequently supported by powerful politicians and religious leaders pursuing their own selfish interests. This paper examines how the manipulation of religion in Nigeria since independence has fostered the rise of fundamentalist groups and describes the serious dangers facing minorities in the affected areas in particular and the nation of Nigeria in general.