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Boko Haram: Beating the retreat

   Islamic fundamentalism is the biggest political threat that the legitimate regimes of the world, which predominantly have adopted the system of western style democracy, faces. Now, Islamic fundamentalist forces have moreover acquired a worldwide network with various regional forces coordinating in a wider scale. This means that whatever Taliban does in Pakistan or Afghanistan, IS in Iraq and Syria; and Boko Haram in Africa have got repercussions around the world. These are apart from the direct terrorist acts that were executed in various destinations with a vengeance.

The latest news from Africa is the claim made by Nigerian President Muhamadu Buhari that his national army has “technically won” the war on Boko Haram. The news is that Boko Haram forces were ousted from their regional strongholds of Nigeria through  

hardly fought battles.

The news that previously made headlines about Boko Haram was the report released by UNICEF that ten lakhs students lost their access to education due to opposing activities of Boko Haram extremists. It is pointed out in the report that the absence of education has caused accentuation of insecurity and intolerance in the country.

Two thousand schools remain closed in countries of Nigeria, Cameron, Chad and Niger, due to attacks of Boko Haram.

The report of UNICEF makes it clear that no facility exists for the schools to open and function or for students to attend classes, even though Nigerian president is strongly resisting Boko Haram, using military facilities. UNICEF African Regional Director Manuel Fontaine says that what is more terrifying 

than the act of hindering studies, is the practice of Boko Haram extremists to physically and mentally exploit children and abduct them and recruit to extremist groups. 

On 2014 April 14, Boko Haram had abducted 276 girls, who were preparing for final examinations by attacking a school in Chibok. The countries, where Boko Haram activities are mainly centered, are reluctant to open and make schools function, fearing repeat of these kinds of incidents. In the North eastern part of Nigeria, some schools open and function under military protection. However, such an arrangement could not be implemented in the whole of the country.

This situation caused by Boko Haram activities should not come as a surprise in themselves, as the name of Boko Haram itself suggests the reason. Its meaning is “western education forbidden”. They, who started  

waging a war against Nigeria Government in 2009, have always  targeted schools, students and teachers. In Nigeria, their avowed aim is to undermine the secular government and the western tenets that form the base of governance framework, as also is the wont of other Islamic terrorist groups.

Observers say that eliminating Boko Haram alone will not solve the issues that educational sector face in the zone. They say that one could perceive a resistance to the process of children going to school regularly – an act, which that region’s culture felt to be shocking – earlier itself.

Boko Haram has also literally decimated whatever little infrastructure that existed in North Eastern Nigeria, which in itself is a poor region. Its cost is also more difficult for the nation to bear, as it is facing a cash crunch due to plunging oil prices.