Original Research

A theo-political analysis of Muslim–Muslim presidency in a ‘secular’ Nigeria

Benson O. Igboin
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 47, No 1 | a169 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v47i1.169 | © 2023 Benson O. Igboin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2022 | Published: 17 November 2023

About the author(s)

Benson O. Igboin, Department of Religion and African Culture, Faculty of Arts, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria; and Institute for Gender Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

The question whether or not religion matters in the Nigerian political system for Christians is more than a rhetorical one; it is indeed an existential one. Although most Christians, by their understanding of the Constitution, maintain that Nigeria is a secular country, the politics of religious and demographic manipulation has raised important challenges to them bordering on the political processes in the country. The article utilised the historical method to foreground the religious politics of the country generally and Christian–Muslim relations particularly. This method underscored the political processes from the colonial to the postcolonial period and showed how Christians and Muslims have fared in power distribution, revealing that to date, no Christian has been elected or appointed vice president from the northern part of the country because they are regarded as ‘incompetent’. From the observations of the current political engineering that birthed the Muslim–Muslim presidential ticket by the ruling political party (All Progressives Congress) and other two parties Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) that flouted the regional understanding that the next president should come from any part of the south, the article further historically situates the reasons for the decision towards northern Christians in particular and other Christians in general in Nigeria politics. The article employs a theo-political method to analyse the position and arguments of Christians on same faith ticket in a ‘secular’ country. The article concludes that Christians now have the opportunity to challenge the demographic myth and incompetency assumption that have been the contentious issues in Christian–Muslim relations.

Contribution: This article contributes to knowledge in theo-politics by bringing to Christian’s attention that their faith is not just a ticket for a flight to heaven; it is first and foremost a mantle for existential survival in a skewed secular state like Nigeria.


Keywords

religion; Muslim–Muslim; Christian; secular; spirituality; demography

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