Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Funding for Boko Haram Must Stop

AUGUSTA, GA (PR) – When the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 girls from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School six weeks ago,  they were doing more than trying to strike fear in the hearts of the people of northeastern Nigeria. The kidnapping was a well thought out way of keeping the people in that region oppressed, says a Georgia Regents University expert.

“Education is the foundation of every society and attacks from terrorist groups like Boko Haram affect the progress of Nigeria’s educational system,” says Olajide Agunloye, an education professor at Georgia Regents University and Chief Consultant to the Federal Ministry of Education for Nigeria. “We cannot overlook how this assault may also cause the north to become socially and economically backwards which keeps the nation from moving forward.” Agunloye says the kidnapping was a means of instilling fear in the people, who are non-Muslins embracing Western-style education.  He says this attack also is a play for political power by Boko Haram, because a presidential election will take place there in 2015.

“With Nigeria becoming Africa’s wealthiest country as well as the continent’s largest democracy in the region, the country’s government is becoming a target for assaults such as these,” said Agunloye.
The key to stopping groups like Boko Haram, which has been linked to organizations such as al-Qaida, is finding and stopping the funding source, he adds. “Operating terrorist groups is not cheap.  Somebody, somehow must be financing these people somewhere and it’s not small money, it’s big money.  We must work together to not only stop the terrorists, but stop those who are funding them.”

Diplomatic partnerships will continue to be key, as the nation moves forward. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was forced to accept international help in the search this month after several weeks of making no publicized effort to find the children. This month, Britain, France, Israel and several other countries have donated experts in surveillance and hostage negotiations to the search. American planes have been flying over the regions seeking out the girls.

“The partnership between the United States and Nigeria must become stronger with America providing military assistance and intelligence resources to ensure the safety of other children attending schools, especially in the north-eastern part of the country ” Agunloye says.

About Olajide Agunloye
Since 2012, Agunloye has served as the chief consultant to the Federal Ministry of Education for Nigeria. In this position, he works with Mathematics and English Language teachers and administrators to use instructional techniques from his book Inclusive Education: Principles and Concepts, and  Inclusive Education: Administrators’ Handbook for Instructional Leadership in schools serving disadvantaged populations in Nigeria.

In 2011, Agunloye implemented the African Education Mission (AEM) focused on improving educational processes for the disadvantaged and disenfranchised populations, including those living in the region of the Chibok attack.

Agunloye received his bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He earned his educational specialist degree from the University of West Georgia and earned a doctoral degree from the University of Georgia.


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