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Vol 42 No 17

Published 31st August 2001


Nigeria

Shariacracy on trial

The adoption of Sharia hasn't reduced crime and corruption

Nigerian advocates of Sharia – governance according to the norms, principles and rules laid down by Islamic law – face a reckoning this year. The poverty and frustration that drives support for Sharia in the north may yet overwhelm the politicians who have adopted it as a tactic for addressing popular discontent. Almost two years ago, Governor Ahmed Sani proclaimed that Zamfara State would adopt the Islamic criminal code and eleven more states followed. Sharia supporters claimed that it would make northern Nigeria safer, wealthier and godlier. Yet in most northern states, Sharia compliant or not, crime is still rising, state corruption continues, and so does grinding poverty

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