Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nigerian royalty

The Emir of Kano strolls regally along the red carpet with a silver-tipped staff and a jeweled turban that looks like a disco ball, as commoners bow and scrape in his wake. Kano's streets are strewn with trash, and schools and clinics are run down. In northern Nigeria, the emirs have no control over mechanisms of the state such as the police, taxation or criminal justice. But they receive five percent of all funds given to local government.
At the same time, the emirs wield considerable power as the top Islamic figures in their regions.The emirs also oversee the Shariah court system, which rules based on Islamic civil law. In northern Nigeria, governors have imposed the Shariah system in a bid to harness their political fortunes to religious sensibilities.

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