Former President of Nigeria, Dr. Good luck Ebele Jonathan, while citing the need to combat terrorism and violence in Africa and the black community as a whole, in his book titled “My Transition Hours” stated that the best weapon against terrorism and violence was formal education. The importance of education in the fight against violence and terrorism especially as it exists within the black community today cannot be overemphasized as we shall see later on in this post.
President Goodluck made this comment based on the nature of terrorism and violence that occurred across Nigeria during his time as President. It happened that most culprits had little or no formal education, making it difficult for them to understand the gravity of their crimes and offenses. This by extension applies to every member of the black community who probably has a ‘pro-African’ mindset about education being the tool of the colonial masters to have a rethink about the importance of education in fighting crime and shaping the thoughts and actions of black youths who may feel inclined to pursue a path into crime.
However, what is the view about highly educated individuals who still set out to engage in terrorism and violence? Does that mean education works differently among people? If two people are taught that rape is bad, and upon leaving the classroom, one of the individuals walks in on an active rape session in progress and is enticed to join in and he ultimately engages in one, that does not mean he was not well taught; it simply means he did not absorb the education impacted on him. We have such cases around the world. A lot of people, despite their level of knowledge, still find solace in perpetrating terrorism and violence, not because education failed but because the individual has failed to allow the enlightenment that comes with formal education into them.
I believe education is like religion; it takes care of the mind just like religion takes care of the soul. If your religion preaches love and peace, and you go ahead and do quite the opposite, it does not mean that the religion has failed; it means you have not truly embraced the teachings of your religion. Sitting in a classroom and learning about the dangers of terrorism and violence without truly letting it reflect in your thoughts and actions, is equal to not learning or having any knowledge about it at all in the first place. To truly defy terrorism and violence within the black community, we have to truly embrace education.