newspaper2 - Political Science Newspaper Response 2 Nigeria...

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Political Science Newspaper Response 2 Nigeria with a population of approximately 1.4 million people, is the most populous country in Africa, and the ninth most populous in the world. There are more than 250 ethnic groups and 521 catalogued languages. For a nation that is about the size of California, the level of diversity is astonishing. The largest ethnic groups are the Yoruba, Fulani, Hausa, and Igbo, which all together accounts for 68% of the population. Due to the vast number of ethnic languages, English was chosen ad the official language. Religion doesn’t face as much diversity as languages and ethnic groups; for the most part, this is almost a dichotomous sector with 50% of the population being Muslim, and 40% being Christian (the remaining 10% of the population belongs to a number of different indigenous beliefs). The ethno-linguistic and religious differences follow somewhat of a geographical pattern. The Hausas and Fulanis dominate the northern region of Nigeria, Yorubas dominate the southwest, and the Igbos dominate the southwestern region. The middle belt of Nigeria is the most diverse region in terms if ethno-linguistic groups. The majority of the northern states are Islam, while Christianity is dominant in the south. Throughout Nigeria’s history, it has been plagued by religious, ethnic, and political conflicts. These conflicts have contributed greatly to the instability that has been evident in Nigeria’s transition to democracy. Many ethnic groups fight for political autonomy within the country, which undermines its efforts at a unified democracy. Both the ethnic and religious conflicts are brought to a head in the political arena, which propels these conflicts even further out of control. To ease some of the religious tensions, the federal government gave states the right to make their own laws. Based on this freedom, many of the Muslim states have chosen to adapt Sharia Law, which is
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intrinsically linked with the teachings of the Qur'an. This has been met with increased opposition by the Christian population who reside in the states that have adopted Sharia. Some of the sentencing under Sharia, such as the sentencing of a Muslim woman convicted of adultery to execution by stoning, have conflicted with the laws and regulations of the federation causing an intervention of the federal into the state. Such an intervention is not taken lightly, especially when it is ordered by a Christian President. Ethnic conflicts are even more prominent in the Niger Delta region because of its
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newspaper2 - Political Science Newspaper Response 2 Nigeria...

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