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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Travails of the Secular State: Religion, Politics and the Outlook on Nigeria's Third Republic
Author:Agbaje, Adigun
Periodical:Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Church and State
religious policy
Religion and Witchcraft
Politics and Government
Abstract:This article attempts to support the thesis that the Third Republic of Nigeria, scheduled for 1992, is likely to witness a lessening tension between religion and politics. It considers the politics of definition of the secularity of the Nigerian State in the context of the role of the State as a differentiator and distributor of scarce public resources. It looks at the precepts laid down for the Third Republic, the politics of definition since independence in 1960 and the implications of the policy environment created by the Buhari and the current Babangida military regimes since the coup of 31 December 1983. It shows the extent to which the concept of secularity has become an unsettled one under military rule and argues that this is not surprising, given the tendency of the State under military rule not to manage scarcity of strategic goods fairly in the absence of democratic social and political institutions which could have served as effective brakes on the partiality of the State. In essence, the argument is that the politics of religion has been more obtrusive under military than under civilian rule. In conclusion, it is argued that the outlook for the Third Republic is optimistic. The demands of the proposed two-party system would ensure that the two parties would be under pressure to formulate platforms that would appeal to the broadest spectrum of voters. This could rule out or minimize political campaigns along religious lines. Notes, ref.