Nigeria Citizens, Society, & The State
Presentation Outline III. Citizens, Society, & The State • Political socialization • Cleavages • Civil society and interest groups • Political violence
III. a) Political Socialization Do you remember what political socialization means? • Family • Ethnic tribe • Church/Mosque
Family Top left: a poor woman and her child collecting contaminated water for drinking Left: A wealthy Christian family from southern Nigeria has political influence, power, and wealth
Ethnic tribe Ethnic groups play a significant role in Nigerian political socialization. Tribalism and loyalty to one’s nation is emphasized over allegiance to the Nigerian state. An Igbo family wearing traditional dress
Church/Mosque More than 90% of Nigerians are either Christian or Muslim. About one half are Christian, while the other half are Muslim. Places of worship are major centers of political socialization.
Left: Christians tend to be pro-American while Muslims generally hold an unfavorable view of America and the West. Top: Both Muslims and Christians do overwhelmingly support democratic values.
III. b) Cleavages • Ethnic cleavages • Religious divisions • Wealth gap
Ethnic cleavages • Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups, each with its own language, custom, and culture • Tensions do flare up and ethnic violence against another nation/tribe is not uncommon • In 1967 the Igbo people separated from Nigeria and declared independence as the Republic of Biafra; after three years of brutal civil war the state was reunified in 1970
Left: Igbo children starving during the civil war Top: Massacre at an Igbo hospital by Nigerian soldiers
After the Biafran Civil War more states were created which splintered the power of the main ethnic groups. Separatist movements have not disappeared but are no where near as prevalent as they once were or are in states such as China or Russia.
Religious divisions • Religion splits Nigeria in half: The North is Muslim while the South is Christian • Bombings of churches and mosques occur frequently and tensions are highest during elections and near the middle belt • Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism has manifested itself in the North with the appearance of the political group Boko Haram
Top: The results of the 2011 Nigerian presidential election reinforced the religious divisions. The South supported the Christian PDP candidate, while the North supported the Muslim CPC candidate
Wealth gap • Despite its oil wealth, more than 70% of Nigerians live in poverty • In fact, this income gap is the largest of the 6 AP case study countries • Poverty occurs throughout Nigeria but the North tends to be poorer as all of Nigeria’s oil is concentrated in the Southern Delta region
The North tends to be poorer than the South with the exception of Kaduna and Kano states
Female literacy is lower in the North. This is partially explained by poverty, and by the influence of traditional Islamic values regarding female education
III. c) Civil Society and interest groups • Nigeria has an active civil society and partly free press • There are hundreds of different voluntary and professional associations that operate within Nigeria and attempt to influence government policy • However, some journalists have faced intimidation, human rights groups have been restricted at times, and some human rights activists have been tortured and even killed
Nigeria’s press is partly free which ranks well in its region but is certainly not up to Western liberal democratic standards of press freedoms.
Interest Groups • Nigeria’s interest group arrangement is best described as an emerging pluralist system • There are a number of prominent interest groups which do influence government policy • However, there still are restrictions on some interest groups, particularly human rights groups
Key Nigerian Interest Groups Nigerian Bar Association Nigerian Labor Congress National Association of Nigerian Students National Council of Women’s Societies
III. d) Political violence • Peaceful demonstrations occur throughout Nigeria • However, political violence does occur with regularity, particularly during election years • This contrasts with more liberal democracies where political violence occurs only on rare occasions
The Islamic Fundamentalist group Boko Haram has been responsible for Church bombings, executions, and tortures throughout Northern Nigeria. Boko Haram advocates creating a Nigerian theocracy and separate state in the North Top left: Boko Haram militants Top right: victims of a recent Boko Haram bombing
Niger Delta Violence- Militants in the Niger Delta have burned oil fields; some want more oil profits; while others are protesting the environmental damage done by the oil industry Top left: Niger Delta militants Top right: The torching of oil fields in the Niger Delta