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Obi: Will tribe, religion short-change Nigeria in 2023?


For those who care to know, Nigeria is not only bedevilled by corruption embedded in our cultural instincts but also by the toxicity of ethnicity, tribalism and religious bigotry. Because of these monsters, public accountability is measured and demanded based on the ethnic group and the religion you profess.

Even in cases where the number one job and duty of the state is to punish and reprimand crime and wrong-doing, these twin monsters could exonerate publicly caught criminals with a fiat. It is not surprising, therefore, that for all the clueless policies the current regime has melted to Nigeria, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and his cronies are not being held to account.

Therefore, crime and wrong-doing in public institutions are given meaning depending on the social and cultural group one belongs. This phenomenon aligns with Criminologist Nils Christie in his work, A suitable amount of crime (2004), where he argued that there is no crime; that crime only exists as an act defined by social frameworks and identities. In Nigeria, crime and criminality are often shaped by the identities of tribe and religion.

The centralisation of tribe and religion in our public policy, politics and regrettably in elections has been Nigeria’s greatest undoing. This is not to argue against the imperative of religion, which should act as a guiding moral template for our public institutions. Rather,  the deployment of religion to catapult incompetent, corrupt persons into positions of authority is highly disingenuous to our democracy. Ronald E. Thiemann in his book, Religion in Public Life: A Dilemma for Democracy, while x-raying the nexus between religion and politics, stressed that the idea of political liberalism compels both the separation of religion from politics in terms of practice and the relation of religion to politics in view of a consensus moral guide. Continue Reading Here


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