Original Research

Socio-religious implications of the bond between democracy and theocracy in Nigeria

Benjamin Diara, Favour Uroko
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a5310 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.5310 | © 2020 Benjamin Diara, Favour Uroko | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 November 2018 | Published: 29 January 2020

About the author(s)

Benjamin Diara, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; and, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Favour Uroko, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; and, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Democracy as an administrative system is maintained through party representation and election in which everybody is duly represented, and through a constitution which is prepared in the interest of equity, justice and egalitarianism, and through the rule of law which does not permit any form of preferential or partial treatment and judgement. In Nigeria, democracy came into real existence on 29 May 1999. Coincidentally, sharia, which is the theocratic legal system of Islam, was adopted in Zamfara State followed by some other states of the country almost at the same time. This article is aimed at a critical examination of the socio-religious implications of the practice of theocracy in the implementation of the provisions of sharia as state law in the democratic nation, Nigeria. An attempt at interpreting and proffering solutions to the destabilising effects of the adoption of sharia in contradistinction to the legal system provided by the democratic constitution of the country is made. This research adopted a historical approach and was dependent on both primary and secondary sources. The result indicates that the implications of the ‘adoption and practice of sharia in some states of Nigeria are manifest in legal duality, religious partiality and social instability.’ This article, therefore, recommends for the country a very important aspect of political restructuring, namely, that religion should be separated from politics.

Keywords

Democracy; Theocracy; Doctrine; Church History; Nigeria

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