Authored by: Toyin Falola , Chukwuemeka Agbo

The Routledge Handbook to Religion and Political Parties

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138500464
eBook ISBN: 9781351012478
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter Falola and Agbo challenge Mills and Bruce’s arguments that religion has no significant impact on politics and political parties. With insights drawn from Nigeria as well as similar examples from around the world, the authors agree with François Foret that encounters between religion and politics are unavoidable. Religious considerations influence not only many Nigerian citizens’ choice of political parties, but also impact on political decisions and government policies. Nigerian politicians and political party leaderships are aware that religion has become a significant and unavoidable force in its politics, and they respond accordingly. This chapter examines the intersections of religion, political parties and politics in Nigeria. Drawing examples from Christianity and Islam, it examines how religious and political interests in Nigeria have been pursued and managed. This chapter is an attempt to answer the following questions: is religion relevant to political parties and politics in Nigeria? Why do religious leaders and institutions get involved in politics? What are the reasons for the increased interaction between religion, political parties and politics in Nigeria? What factors shape the nature of this interaction?

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