New Visiting Research Fellow

Akinola Ejodame Olojo is a visiting research fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) – The Hague, and a research consultant with the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) in Kenya and Nigeria. While at ICCT, he is working on a project that investigates the underlying drivers of violent radicalisation in northern Nigeria, with specific focus on Boko Haram. The project will explore socioeconomic instigators such as poverty and underdevelopment with a view to ascertaining the extent to which they incite public support for Boko Haram. While examining the group’s mobilisation strategies, his research will analyse the catalytic role of religion and how this has been exploited by Boko Haram in generating mass appeal in Nigeria’s troubled north.

Akinola has a Masters in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London and a Masters in Political Science from the University of Lagos. From 2010-2012, he was a Peace, Security and Development Fellow at the African Leadership Centre (ALC) in both London and Nairobi. In 2011, he was an African Junior Professional Fellow at the International Peace Institute (IPI), New York. His fellowship engagements underscore his research interests in security sector reform, governance and development in Africa, human security and most significantly, sectarian violence and counter-terrorism. He has conducted external reviews for the knowledge production department of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in South Africa. He is also an external reviewer for the Journal of Terrorism Research, the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

Akinola’s understanding of sectarian and political violence in Nigeria is further inspired by his firsthand experience of the Ife-Modakeke conflict in south-western Nigeria. While living in this conflict zone, he witnessed the sordid sights of human and material casualties, and the near total breakdown of order. His publications include ‘Engaging Boko Haram: Militarization, Mediation or Both?’ (IPI, September 2012); ‘Boko Haram, Leadership and Exit Strategies from a Sectarian Challenge’ (forthcoming, 2013); ‘Structural Violence and the Boko Haram Crisis: A Blind Spot of the Theory?’ (forthcoming, 2013); and ‘Local Non-State Actors and National Ownership: The Libyan Crisis through the Lens of Security Sector Governance’ (forthcoming, 2013).