Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2018, 14:34 GMT

Education under Attack 2010 - Nigeria

Publisher UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
Publication Date 10 February 2010
Cite as UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Education under Attack 2010 - Nigeria, 10 February 2010, available at: [accessed 19 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Boko Haram ("Western Education is Forbidden"), an Islamic group opposed to Western education, launched attacks across four northern provinces on 26 July 2009, which led to 154 deaths. They raided police stations and neighbourhoods and destroyed government buildings, including Goodness Mercy School, Maiduguri, which was reduced to rubble.589 Boko Haram leader Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, who was later killed by security forces, said: "Democracy and the current system of education must be changed, otherwise this war that is yet to start would continue for long".590 Another senior member of the rebel group, Abdulmuni Ibrahim Mohammed, who was arrested in Kano State, said: "We do not believe in Western education. It corrupts our ideas and beliefs. That is why we are standing up to defend our religion".591

[Refworld note: The source report "Education under Attack 2010" was posted on the UNESCO website ( in pdf format, with country chapters run together. Original footnote numbers have been retained here.]

589 AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, August 4, 2009. The photograph shows pupils studying at benches in front of the destroyed school building.

590 David Smith, "150 Dead in Nigeria After Anti-education 'Taliban' Offensive to Impose Sharia Law," The Guardian, July 28, 2009.

591 Ibrahim Mshelizza, "Nigeria to Hunt Down Islamic Radicals – President," Reuters, July 28, 2009.

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