chapter  2
18 Pages

On the Islamic history of Nigeria

WithZacharias P. Pieri

This chapter provides an account of the Sokoto jihad, arguing that many of the grievance factors that spurred the 1804 jihad were identified by members of Boko Haram as existing in contemporary Nigeria and used to drive its own jihad. The impact of dan Fodio’s teachings and subsequent jihad in Hausaland was transformative, serving to establish the Sokoto Caliphate, which dominated the governance structure of most of what is northern Nigeria, into the British phase of colonialism. Nigeria as a modern nation-state was created in 1914 under British colonial rule through the amalgamation of the Northern Protectorate of Nigeria, the Southern Protectorate of Nigeria, and the Colony of Lagos. It is an irredentist state, includes a plethora of ethnicities and identities, and is increasingly divided along religious lines – Islam and Christianity. Nigeria’s north has enjoyed a long relationship with Islam.