The Nigerian elections and the role of religion

The BBC reports that, as tensions rise ahead of the elections in Nigeria, due on 14 February, some fear the country’s unity will face a new test and religious divisions will be exacerbated. The election sees a Christian presidential candidate from the south, incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, pitted against Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim candidate from the north of the country.

Many Nigerians hold a high attachment to their particular faith, and the voting patterns are expected to look very different in the predominantly Muslim north compared to some areas in the south where Christian culture dominates. The article argues that it will largely be up to the politicians to reduce the tension and ensure there is harmony across the religious divide of this diverse nation when the election outcome is announced.

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The article contains a fascinating interview with Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, in which he explains how politicians use religion for their own political gain.