Accountability of Religious Organizations in Situations of Political Instability: The Nigerian Case

Omobolaji Ololade Olarinmoye


Religious organizations are very important as religion is “an important dimension of the central processes of identity formation, social inclusion, and boundary maintenance”, operating as a “sacred canopy,” permanently providing identity, meaning, inspiration, and consolation to very large numbers of people” (Beckford 2007). Religious organizations more than any other organization have the capacity to interpret and represent existing social conditions in a way that convinces their members that social change is desirable (diagnostic framing), that it is possible (prognostic framing), and that their participation is required to produce the desired change (motivational framing). (Snow 1992; McVeigh 2005)

The ability to engage in diagnostic, prognostic and motivational has made religious organizations key actors in the political and developmental processes of post-colonial states such as Nigeria, especially those currently engaged in democratic consolidation processes such as Nigeria. Democratic consolidation is a multi-stage process which involves, first, a bargaining process between groups as to the validity or not of the rules that come out of the transition process and two, the institutionalization of the results of the bargaining process (Guilhot & Schmitter 2000).



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