The two most successful Industries In Nigeria are politics and religion. The sad reality, however, is that “the PEOPLE” are the commodity. – Obasanjo
“As a young boy born in the southern part of Nigeria, I grew up to find Muslims and Christians living together within the same community. However, as I grew up into adulthood the central government in practice changed its policy of non-interference in religious matters to that of regulating the number of people performing Islamic and Christian rites inside and outside Nigeria.
“This check on religious freedom came out of trying to have political control of the citizens by using religion as a weapon; contrary to the constitutional provision of non-interference in the religious affairs of the people. In the southern parts of Nigeria, this situation changed the way that families and governments think.
“They now also had to create institutions to control religious affairs, while the ruling class in the north of Nigeria had to be seriously subsumed into the mould of the Islamic faith as a way of protecting her Islamic and political interests (Kukah 1993, 42).
“In particular, they had (and continue to have) Arab money flowing into northern Nigeria. This made it easy for the ruling class to set up Jamaatu Nasril Islam (JNI) for the propagation of Islam in northern Nigeria, and to embark on an aggressive conversion of non-Muslims to Islam.
“To counter such action, led to another reaction; this time from those within the Christian faith who formed the Northern Christian Association (NCA) to shield the Christians (who were in the minority in the north) from the impact of an Islamic conversion campaign…
“The NCA also had the purpose to address grievances against the excesses of the state in using JNI to negotiate its way to retain political power and to propagate Islam.
“Kukah (1993, 100) rightly observes that to the ruling classes ‘some Muslims are more Muslims than others’ and for survival generally some Christians may want to become Muslims or adopt the Hausa culture, thereby gaining access into certain social relations or have the ability to understand northern interests and know how to help build them. With all these threats, the NCA was not automatically going to get the sympathy of the Christians in the south.