Violence and identity in modern Nigeria
Inchoate feudalization in a failing polity
Keywords:Nigeria, terrorism, civil war, intersectionality, indigeneity, feudalization
Nigeria, a failing state with the second highest incidence of terrorist attacks worldwide and a simmering, low intensity civil conflict as well as protest and secessionist movements, is a place where intersectionality does not stop at class or at gender. Nigeria’s structural violence and atrocities happen at the intersection of ethnic, religious, sub-religious, linguistic, and occupational groups, as well as class and sex. It is a polity where indigeneity creates a kaleidoscope of state (provincial level) apartheids, where sharia is practiced in criminal law in all but one of the Northern states, and where the law of the land, including a bastardized version of juju as well as feudal law, all remain valid sources of law along with common law, allowing for rampant thuggery and voter intimidation, and abuse of tenants by feudatories, with government sanction. The country, ostensibly democratic, is ruled by former military heads of state, with the help of the army, which is deployed in the majority of the states. The federal polity is subject to many centrifugal forces that actively threaten to fuel an explosion in the 2020s.