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The Application of Islamic Law and the Legacies of Good Governance in the Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria (1804-1903): Lessons for the Contemporary Period


Bunza, Mukhtar Umar (2013). The Application of Islamic Law and the Legacies of Good Governance in the Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria (1804-1903): Lessons for the Contemporary Period. Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (EJIMEL), 1(4):84-101.

Abstract

One of the key jargons of contemporary democracy is good governance, which entails social justice, effective, responsible, and transparent administrative machinery. In the same way, social and political maladies such as corruption, nepotism, favoritism, ethnicity, and flagrant abuse of power were ostracized in the system. Those terms, are usually echoed in Nigeria by politicians and their cohorts rhetorically in the media, with almost nothing to show in practice. Consequently, the faith of Nigerians is being eroded in the successive Nigerian governments as all promises to improve their lots and living standards remain a mirage. However, a little reflection and appreciation of the polity that was attained on the Nigerian soil in the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century (i.e., the Sokoto Caliphate) represents encouraging historical evidence and legacy of good governance, that will help Nigeria in the current derive for nation building and sustainable development. It is the submission of this paper that, some of the mechanism deviced and employed by the Sokoto Caliphate in uniting its diversed citizens through equity, social justice, transparency and accountability for one-hundred years, if studied and utilized will help the Nigerian state, as well as other developing nations in the Muslim World and beyond to address their present political quandary. This also shows that the Shari’ah –Islamic Law, as demonstrated by the Sokoto Caliphate in the 19th century entails laudable developmental programs, innovative initiatives for welfare packages, and assured rights and freedom for the citizens.

One of the key jargons of contemporary democracy is good governance, which entails social justice, effective, responsible, and transparent administrative machinery. In the same way, social and political maladies such as corruption, nepotism, favoritism, ethnicity, and flagrant abuse of power were ostracized in the system. Those terms, are usually echoed in Nigeria by politicians and their cohorts rhetorically in the media, with almost nothing to show in practice. Consequently, the faith of Nigerians is being eroded in the successive Nigerian governments as all promises to improve their lots and living standards remain a mirage. However, a little reflection and appreciation of the polity that was attained on the Nigerian soil in the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century (i.e., the Sokoto Caliphate) represents encouraging historical evidence and legacy of good governance, that will help Nigeria in the current derive for nation building and sustainable development. It is the submission of this paper that, some of the mechanism deviced and employed by the Sokoto Caliphate in uniting its diversed citizens through equity, social justice, transparency and accountability for one-hundred years, if studied and utilized will help the Nigerian state, as well as other developing nations in the Muslim World and beyond to address their present political quandary. This also shows that the Shari’ah –Islamic Law, as demonstrated by the Sokoto Caliphate in the 19th century entails laudable developmental programs, innovative initiatives for welfare packages, and assured rights and freedom for the citizens.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (EJIMEL) > Archive > 1/2013
Journals > Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (EJIMEL) > Archive > 1/2013 > Articles
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:05 Dec 2013 15:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:13
Publisher:Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Legal Studies (CIMELS), University of Zurich
ISSN:1664-5707
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://www.ejimel.uzh.ch
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-85882

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