Senator and Chairman, Kaduna North
Getting the News Out/Managing Expectations, Balancing the Central and Local, Constitutions
recruitment, capacity building, training, tripartite legal system, customary law, common law, Sharia law, memorandum, Nigeria
Wed Aug 26 2009
Senator Ahmed Makarfi of Kaduna North in Nigeria recounts his experiences using reform to diffuse clashes that took place over the implementation of Sharia law in 2000. He discusses the process of mediating issues in mixed Christian and Muslim communities, particularly clearing up misconceptions in Christian communities about whether such laws would apply to them. He also addresses the implementation of a system to officially recognize the traditional leaders of communities within Kaduna North and to facilitate cooperation between traditional leaders and local and state government. Makarfi also offers insights into the judicial and legal reforms that led to a tripartite legal system comprising common law, Sharia law, and customary law for specific communities. He then discusses the capacity building problems facing Nigeria and what reforms were undertaken to address these gaps. Finally, Makarfi focuses on his belief in inclusiveness, openness of government and accessibility as a key part of both conflict resolution and service delivery.
At the time of this interview, Ahmed Makarfi was serving as senator for Kaduna North, Kaduna State, Nigeria, as a member of the People’s Democratic Part (PDP). Makarfi has been involved in Nigerian politics for over 15 years and served as governor of Kaduna State for two four-year terms starting in 1999. He has also served on the Kaduna State Executive Council as State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, and on the board of Trustees at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution. Makarfi also has a bachelors in accounts and a masters of science degree in accounts and finance.