Youth Participation in Violence in Nigeria Since the 1980s

Olayemi Akinwumi

in International Perspectives on Youth Conflict and Development

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195178425
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199958528 | DOI:
Youth Participation in Violence in Nigeria Since the 1980s

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Since the 1980s, Nigeria has continued to witness an unprecedented surge of ethnoreligious violence. The involvement of youth in these civil disturbances or conflicts is very disturbing. They are the foot soldiers, and in some cases “generals,” of the various ethnic militia groups that were formed in this period in order to defend the narrow interests of the various ethnic groups or individuals who established them. This chapter considers the factors responsible for youth violence in the country. It also focuses on the state reaction and measures to curb youth involvement in violence. It argues that until the state resolves the fundamental problems with the economy, especially in the area of employment, Nigerian youth will continue to be involved in ethno-religious conflicts. Second, it is posited that the youth should be involved in creating policies that directly affect them instead of being treated as mere objects of knowledge and policy. Third, fundamental survival techniques in the country must be dissociated from violence.

Keywords: Nigerian youth; youth conflict; youth violence; militia groups; ethno-religious conflict

Chapter.  6530 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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