1.2. Nigeria Nigeria is a country in West Africa, it is the biggest country in Africa in regard to its population.
Since Nigeria is consisted of Muslims, Christians and other religious and ethnic sects, transition to democracy was challenged and peace and peace was threatened in the country. Religion has a big role in Nigeria therefore, its interference in the politics had negative implications on transition to democracy. In 1999, it was decided that Nigeria would transit to democracy after decades of military rule; from this point religion started to be a big part of its politics through the Sharia laws and penal codes especially in Zamfara then followed by other states (Ntamu 2014). According to Ntamu (2014), Religious leaders supported the governor of Zamfara Ahmed Yeriman and all those who supported religious laws, through mobilizing the masses to choose the Sharia laws and demanding a religious rule. Since all that happened in a legal voting process it meant that it was a democratic process, it proves that a democratic process results in a tyranny of majority and fails to protect other minorities. The attempts were successful in shifting the government toward an Islamic Sharia law, that infuriated the Christians in Nigeria, Christians in the country were antagonized and refused to accept the Sharia laws because they believed that will marginalize them, threaten the Christian government in the North and aims at Islamizing the country. As a result, the Christian leader Obasanjo in an attempt of protecting the Christians from the power of Muslims, he disarmed the army and the Muslim forces angering the Muslims living in the North.
That altered the balance of force, and the Sharia law was weakened, according to Obasanjo (2007), “If Sharia was from God, it will survive but if it was politically motivated it will die and this has happened”. Till now Nigeria is in deep-rooted conflicts, the country is still divided between the North and the West. Politicizing religion resulted in terrorist groups like Boko Haram which worsen the situation and consequently, religion is mainly used to gain political power. The weak possibility of religious co-existence in Nigeria has largely challenged the construction of democracy in the country (Ntamu,2014).