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Nigerian bishop says education is key to fighting Boko Haram

by Eno Adeogun

Bishop Matthew Kukah, from the Sokoto Diocese in northern Nigeria, told Premier at an event held in the House of Lords, to highlight the number of persecuted Christian's around the world, that politicians in the country are indirectly helping the terrorist organisation.

He said: "One of the issues that I'm personally worried about as a Christian in Nigeria, is that for the first time in our history, the minister of education and the heads of all the major educational affiliates are literally all in the hands of Muslims.

"One of the difficulties that we have in Nigeria is the very notion that governors are literally free to do as they wish in the area of education.

"There's tones of money that has become available for education but most of the governors - especially in the north - are not interested.

"As you hear from many governors in northern Nigeria, people prefer to build mosques instead of building schools."

Bishop Kukah's warning came as Christian charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) revealed that their latest report indicated the rate of Christian persecution was on the increase.

Titled "Persecuted and Forgotten" the study looked at countries around the world where Christians are oppressed. Out of the 13 countries examined, Saudi Arabia was the only country where this persecution remained unchanged.

Bishop Kukah told Premier that in Nigeria, which according to the report had got "significantly worse" at protecting Christians, poor education directly impacts terrorism.

He explained: "If you have a huge population - especially of young people, on whose shoulders the future depends, that are uneducated and if we don't have a common narrative about what we want, about who we are, then definitely the worse that we're seeing is Boko Haram."

This point was echoed by Fr Salar Kajo, from the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq, who was one of four speakers at the charity's event.


He told Premier: "After the war against Saddam (Hussein) no one took care of the schools, education or health.

"I think this creates a group like ISIS and if we will not take care today of the schools, universities, and educational levels, we will have another group."

Listen to Bishop Matthew Kukah speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun:

Listen to Fr Salar Kajo speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun:

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