POVERTY AND YOUTH RESTIVENESS IN NIGERIA AN EVALUATION OF THE BOKO HARAM

POVERTY AND YOUTH RESTIVENESS IN NIGERIA AN EVALUATION OF THE BOKO HARAM

 

ABSTRACT

Over the years, Nigeria was experienced series of attacks, agitations, restiveness and blests ranging from diverse regions and localities. References are; hostage thing in the south-south region, the Niger Delta militancy crisis, the Boko Haram crisis in Northern Nigeria (which is the case study of this research work) etc. most restiveness of youths has often been done under the puise of a ring or body, this makes their operational activities fast and broader. All these group exist in the diverse regions of the country, and this includes. The “OPC” popularly known as the “Oduduwa peoples congress””called the Afenifere group. We can also find the “MASSOB” known as the “movement for the actualization of sovereign state of biafra”, in the south-east region. In the south-south, we can find “MEND” known as” the movement for emancipation of Niger Delta”, while the “Boko Haram lays siege of the Northern part of the country to mention a few. Despite the fact that June 10,2000 marked 50 years of oil exploration and production, and over $400billion accrued to the Nigerian state in terms of revenue, Nigeria is still referred to as one of the poorest countries in the world. This often makes us to wonder how much of this revenue actually found its way into the region where this oil is produced as the areas of investment in infrastructure or the development of human capital such economic growth is yet to translate to economic development and an appreciable increase in the standard of living of the Nigerian masses. Notably, the economic, social and cultural rights of the people in the Niger-Delta which is the main oil producing region in the country continues to be unfulfilled, therefore, increasing and escalating the level of frustration and tension both within and between communities. This increasing marginalization environmental degradation, discontentment with the multinational companies, pervasive poverty, perceived insensitivity on the part of the state and failure of the state to ameliorate the sufferings of the people, have pushed or rather forced the inhabitants of the region, specifically the youths to the edge, hence: frustration aggression emerged. These amongst other perceived injustice such as low earnings, have made youths to become very hostile and violent, therefore creating an atmosphere of fear, chaos and restiveness. This drift to violence has unleashed a monster that is now a predator to everyone irrespective of personality. The attacks are so indiscriminate that even babies, the aged, oil companies and asset pipelines are frequently targeted for attacks and vandalization. Having established a relationship between poverty and youth restiveness, we shall now take a look at the Boko Haram crisis for a comprehensive understanding of the research work. Boko Haram as the name connotes, does not have one particular meanings, it means different this (to different people though it is a religious cum political sect that aims at imposing sharia law in Nigeria. Most people though believe that the name Boko Haram”, means that western education is evil or a sin”. Since its formation in 2002 in Maiduguri by the leader of the sect; Mohammed Yusuf, Boko Haram has been a thorn in the flesh of the Nigerian masses particularly in the Northern part of the country, it has also made the Nigerian security agencies restless and vulnerable, particularly the police force, this, some people believe is because of the murder of the leader of the sect; Mohammed Yusuf who had been in police custody, thus, the birth of jungle justice. To this end, this research no doubt, will critically analyze, study, explain and research on the three concepts, i.e. poverty, youth restiveness and Boko Haram in order to create a better understanding in the minds of this reader on how poverty can lead or tea tool for restiveness of youth in Nigeria, using the Boko Haram sect as a case study. Finally, this research work contemporaneous and timely, hence it will contribute to executing knowledge and also help in increasing the frontiers of knowledge.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Over the years, Nigeria has experienced series of attacks and blests in most parts of the country. The violent agitations by militants in the Niger Delta” (MEND). So many splinter groups hide under this body to carry out their nefarious acts of rebellion against the Nigerian state to express their grievances over the degradations of their environment through the operation of the multinational oil companies. Similar groups exist in other parts of the country and they include; the “oduduwa people congress (OPC) which is located in the south-west. They are often called the Afeinifere group. There exists also the “movement for the actualization of sovereign state of Biafra” in the south-East while the “Boko Haram” uses the Northern part of the country as their operational base.

This research study will critically scrutinize and evaluate the activities of the latter amongst the afore mentioned political and religious sects, because that is the thrust of this research. It can be deduced that poverty and youth restiveness are instrumental to the incessant crisis that has bedeviled our beloved country „Nigeria‟. People are said to be poor when they experience lack of sufficient income to purchase material needs which often excludes individuals from partaking in generally accepted activities of daily life in the society at large. According to ALI MASRUI in his „paradox of retardation”, Africa is not the poorest of the regions of the world but it is the most retarded. He argued that Africans are richly endowed and as such, they have no reason to be poor.

Despite the fact that June 10,2006 marked 50 years of oil exploration and production, and over $400billion accrued to the Nigerian state in terms of revenue, Nigeria is still referred to as one of the poorest countries in the world. This often makes one to wonder how much of this revenue actually found its way into the region where this oil is produced in the way of investment in infrastructure or the development of human capital. Such economic growth is yet to be translated to economic development and an appreciable increase in the standard of living of the Nigerian masses. The economic, social and cultural rights of the people in the Niger Delta which is the main oil producing region in the country, continous to be unrealized thereby increasing and escalating the level of frustration and tension both within and between communities. This increasing marginalization, environmental degradation and the attendant with the multinational oil companies, preserve poverty, perceived insensitivity on the part of the state and failure of the state to ameliorate the sufferings of the people, have pushed or rather forced the inhabitants of the region specifically the youths to the edge.

These amongst other perceived injustice have made the youths to become very hostile and restless therefore creating an atmosphere of fear, chaos and tension. This drift to violence has unleashed a monster that is now a nuisance to everyone irrespective of personality. The attack are so indiscriminate that even babies, the aged, oil companies and asset to pipelines are frequently targeted for attacks and sabotage. Having established a relationship between poverty and youth restiveness, we shall now take a look at the Boko Haram crisis for a comprehensive understanding of the research study. Boko Haram as the name denotes, does not have one particular meaning. The name more or less connotes different meanings to different people. The group is a Nigerian Islamic group that seeks the imposition of Shariah group belief (Shariah law) throughout the whole of Nigeria. Figuratively, members of this group believe that “western education is a sin”. Presently, the group has an undefined structure and chain of command. It is of a paramount importance to note that the official name of the group is „Jama‟ Atu Ablis Sunna Lidda‟awati Wal-Jihad‟, which means or rather is tantamount to “people committed to the propagation of the prophet‟s teaching and Jihad.

Since its formation in 2002 in Maiduguri by the leader of the group Mohammed Yusuf, the Boko Haram has been a thorn the flesh of Nigeria‟s security agencies, precisely the police force, over its opposition to western education that it believes is a sin. In the year 2004, the Islamic fundamentalists group relocated its base to Ranamma, Yobe state. The new location was named “Afghanistan”, and from there the group set about attacking and leaving members of the Nigerian police lifeless.

In an interview with BBC in the year 2004, Yusuf the leader of the group was quoted as saying that “this war that is yet to start would continue poor a very long time. Five years later i.e. in the year 2009, Yusuf was killed under the police custody in a violent clash between the Boko Haram and the security forces. Nevertheless, his demise did not quell the activities of the group he founded, it rather made them grow more in aggression.

Amongst the various crisis due to bombings carried out by Boko Haram are;

The Nigeria sectarian violence in the year 2009.

The Bauchi prison break 1st Abuja – 2nd Abuja the northern Nigeria bombings in the year 2011.

The attack on the police headquarters on June 16, 2011.

The attack on the ………………….Madala Catholic Church (St Theresa) on the 25th of December 2011 just to mention but a few.

In conclusion, at this juncture, this research work will critically analyze the three concepts i.e. poverty, youth restiveness and Boko Haram in order to create a better understanding in the minds of the readers and more so to contribute to existing knowledge of literature.

1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

It is no longer news that the activities of the Boko Haram and other similar politically religious sects have often led to loss of property, lives and even the breakdown of law and order, peace and security in the Nigerian society at large. From the foregoing, it has been observed that a lot of attacks have been made on so many states which includes even the state capital (F.C.I). What puzzles most observers is that most of these attacks appears not be executed by suicide bombers, yet the culprits often get away unharmed. This leaves a big question mark in our security agencies as regards their duty in the protection of lives and properties, and the procurement of weapons of mass destruction to combat this menace which is eating deep into the Nigerian society today. Opinions are however divided over the propelling force of this group, for instance while some argue fact. It is in a bid to eradicate these incessant chaos and destruction which has often led to loss of assets, that we pose a few research questions in a view of obtaining reasonable and positive answers. Thus:

i. What is the relationship between poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria?

ii. Does the Boko Haram crisis pose a threat development and Nigeria‟s corporate existence?

iii. Is military option capable of lacking the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria?

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main thrust of this study, is to establish the following significance:

i. To ascertain the relationship between poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria.

ii. To find out if Boko Haram crisis poses it threat to development and Nigeria‟s corporate existence.

iii. To explore whether military option is capable of lacking the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria.

1.4   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will definitely put the 1cmp on the cake to already exuding literatures of poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria. Its importance lies in the fact that it is currently a prevailing cancaworm and it is very spontaneous and topical. Moreso, it will act as a guide to the government in their guest the problems associated with poverty in Nigeria.

1.5   HYPOTHESIS

In accordance with the research questions and founded on empirical verifications deduced from the research study, 1 hypothesize this:

i.  There is a relationship between poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria.

ii.  The Boko Haram crisis seems to pose a threat to development and Nigeria‟s corporate existence.

iii.  Military option appears to be capable of tackling the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria.

1.6   SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The scope of this research work is quite broad that it encompasses the investigation of “poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria‟, a case study of the Boko Haram crisis” from the year 2002 till date. This is because of its spontaneous nature. In view of the limitations of this study various factors contributed in affect no the researchers comprehensiveness and totality in carrying out the study. Among these factors are scarcity of relevant materials on the issue due to its continuous evolving nature and virginity, financial constraints and other taxing campus engagements and the fact that the crisis experienced its apex in the course of the research interval. Despite, the afore mentioned shortcomings and hindrances, the research study no doubt turned out to be successful.

1.7   DEFINITION OF TERMS

Poverty: This can be defined as the lack of sufficient resources with which to keep the body and soul together, which often leads to disparity and inequality within societies. It can also be defined as the state of being financially ambalanced which makes the individual unable to associate fully in economic activities.

Youth restiveness: This can be defined as a combination of any action or conduct that constitutes unwholesome socially unacceptable and unwortwhole activities engaged in by the youths in any community. It can also be referred to as a desplicable act which is being perpetrated by a significant proportion of youths whose activities have led to a near breakdown of law and order, low productivity due to disruption of production activities.

Marginalization: This can be seen as an unfair discrimination of a group of people, making them feel unimportant and powerless.

Subjugation: As the name implies, this can simply be referred to as the act of defeating a person thereby making the victim to obey the oppressor. It is similar to the term oppressor.

Conflict: This can simply be put thus; a state of disagreement or argument between people groups, countries e.t.c. it can further lead to war, loss of lives and properties or even outright death if not properly controlled and resolved.