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Vol 42 No 17

Published 31st August 2001


Nigeria

How Sharia spread

North-west Nigeria, with probably more than 30 million people, is the country's most populous zone - overwhelmingly Muslim, with significant numbers of Christians only in southern Kaduna and southern Kebbi states. By December 2000, within 18 months of the return to civil rule, all the north-western state governments had extended Sharia from civil to criminal jurisdiction. Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto followed Zamfara's example without much opposition. However, Kaduna and Kano have substantial Christian populations. In Kaduna, most Christians are indigenous, from minority ethnic groups such as the Kataf; in Kano, many are migrants, running small businesses such as motor spares shops.

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