Despite its string of spectacular atrocities, Boko Haram is but a superficial byproduct of the deeply flawed Nigerian state. Nigeria is ridden with fatal fissures that ultimately may splinter Africa’s most populous and richest country.
Like mid-19th century America, Nigeria hosts two civilizations: one secular-modern, the other religious-traditional. Moreover, this dichotomy is defined by two separate systems of law. After Nigeria jettisoned its British colonial influenced parliamentary system in 1979, it adopted a U.S.-style constitution. It established a presidency and a federalist state structure, crafted to encourage the development of a liberal-democratic secular society and capitalist economy. Unfortunately for Nigeria, in 1999, the central government in Lagos bowed to clerical pressure and alleged popular demand, authorizing the implementation of Islamic Sharia as the primary legal code for its Muslim majority states. [Read more...]