SOCIO-CULTURAL FACTORS INFLUENCING YOUTH VIOLENCE IN BABOKO COMMUNITY IN ILORIN, KWARA STATE.
1.1 Background to the Study
Culture is being differently approached by different scholars at different times. Thus, through their scholastic efforts, it has come to the understanding that culture varied from one community to another and that it is dynamic. It is also what man lends himself to that becomes part and parcel of him. His influences on physical and social environments and vice versa make up his culture. Thus, as man is known to be dynamic in nature, so all his activities changing nature of culture in communities. Without prejudice to the technical definitions of scholars of cultural studies, culture could simply be seen as the totality of man in his physical and social environments and vice versa. One of the most prominent activities of man after subsistence is politics and it has the capacity to make or mar a society as history has proven of ancient great nations (Albert, 1994)
Abdullahi (2003) defined youth as any person in the period between early childhood and old age. This permits further differentiation of youth stratum on the basis of seniority. For example, youth of 18-23 years, 24-29 years and 30-35 years. Anifowose, (2002) cited in Abdullahi (2003:2) provides socio-economic variation and typologies of youths: ‘male/female, educated/uneducated, employed/unemployed, rich/poor parental background, stable/unstable family environment, abled/disabled’ etc. The Nigerian Youth Policy of 1983, revised 1989 and 2007 defined youth as comprising all Nigerians between the ages of 12 and 30 years. Youth as a concept varies from culture to culture and from society to society.
Youth violence has reached unprecedented proportions in contemporary Nigeria. The country has recorded very bizarre experiences in the domain of violence committed by young people. These acts of violence embrace murder, religious uprisings, party clashes, cult clashes, shooting, stabbing, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, including armed bank robbery, theft, burglary, rape, rioting especially against government policies, vandalism, ethnic militancy and so on. It should be noted that these types of violence are also characteristics of what Tamuno, (1994:71) identified as urban violence.
Ethnic militancy has been particularly associated with the violent activities of youth in the past years. Complementing this view, Akinboye (2001:176) notes that youths constitute the bulk of ethnic militias in the society. For instance, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) is believed to be a youth militant arm of NADECO/Afenifere, a pan Yourba national political association, meant to oppose the military junta and press for the realization of the yoruba mandate (Anifowose, 2002:1). The Bakassi Boys are made up of youths who live under self-denial of many things like women, certain foods and certain interaction etc Daily Monitor, January 5, 2000:2), while Egbesu Boys of Africa as it is otherwise called, represents the militant wing of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC). Egbesu boys and other Ijaw youth groups have engaged in series of hostage-taking of oil workers, oil bunkering and cult clashes in the Niger Delta region (Vanguard, April 25, 2003:2).
Various factors were attributed to the state of youth violence and instability in the country. The major ones among others, include the emergence of ethnic militias as liberators, representatives, protectors and pursuers of the interests and identities of regions and groups they represent, cultist groups, elegalism,; the high spate of thriving and unchecked armed robbery and other related crimes which claimed many lives and undermined the performance of the Nigeria Police and finally, the inter and intra party conflicts that swept across the nation like harmattan fire. (Mohamud, 2005)
In another perspective, Akinwumi, (2000) observes that, the existence of militia groups as a response to the growing dissatisfaction to governance in Nigeria, the existence of a large army of unemployed youths and miscreants to which government failed to pay attention, the increasing militarization of the society, ‘the release’ of large and sophisticated arms from Sierra Leone and Liberian adventures and above all, the rise of a new corps of political elites comprising young and rich (possibly from shady deals and drug traffic persons) without adequate political education, having no ‘home base’ and therefore depending on the large group of miscreants for political mobilization.
All these violent acts have obvious consequences on human development. It is based on the above premise that this research work seeks to examine socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
One of the greatest social-cultural problems facing human development in the 21st century Nigeria is the menace of youth violence. In recent year, the phenomenon of youth violence has assumed a serious dimension. Murder, robbery, rape, riot, cultism, ethno-religious militancy, kidnapping, vandalism and arson have become the features of the nascent democracy. These violent acts pose serious threats in all ramifications to human development. This research examines the factors that are responsible for the upsurge of youth violence. Social/moral decadence, influence of peer group, culture of drug abuse, role of mass media, ethnic nationalism, elitist role, family influence etc have been identified as causative factors of youth involvement in violent crimes. The consequences of youth violence are manifests in wanton destruction of human lives and property with devastating effect on human development in the country.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state. However, the specific objectives are;
- To examine factors influencing youth violence in Nigeria
- To determine the extent socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state.
- To identify the forms of the challenges commonly associated with youth violence in Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state.
- To assess the steps taken by government authorities to prevent youth violence in Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state.
1.4 Research Question
This research therefore focuses on investigating socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Nigeria with reference to Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state. The investigation would be guided by the following research questions:
- What are the factors influence youth violence in Nigeria?
- To what extent socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state?
- What are the forms of the challenges commonly associated with youth violence in Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state?
- What are the steps taken by government authorities to prevent youth violence in Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state?
1.5 Researcher Hypotheses
H0.1 There is significant difference between family and youth violence in Nigeria;
H0.2 There is significant difference between peer group and youth violence in Nigeria
H03 there is significance different between poverty and youth violence in Nigeria.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This work has two aspect of significance: firstly, it will theoretically increase the existing body of knowledge in the scholarship on socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Nigeria.
Secondly, the research will practically be of immense value to Kwara state government and policy makers in Nigeria and will also enlighten and educate the masses on the socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Nigeria by so doing; it will go a long way in providing practical solution to some of the problems in the created by youth violence in Nigeria.
Equally, the study will serve as a contribution to the measures to be taken to prevent socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Nigeria.
Finally the study will serve as a motivation for further inquiry in the area of socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope and Limitations
This research is to examine the socio-cultural factors influencing youth violence in Nigeria with reference to Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state. In the recent years, Baboko Community in Ilorin, Kwara state was married with youth violence which led to the killings and destroys people’s properties. In the communities where this is the cases, it may not be possible to realize positive development which is general believed as the best form of things that is expected in any community in the world. This research therefore seeks to examine this problem within the context of Nigerian experience in the Baboko community in Ilorin, Kwara state and make recommendations on how to overcome it.
1.9 Definition of Terms
There are certain words used in this study that need further elaboration for better understanding. These words are defined as follow:
Youth: youth refers to a period between adolescence and adulthood in a post-modern era.
Violence: The expression of hostility and rage through physical force directed against person or property.
Youth Violence: youth violence has deviant characteristics, which suggest an abnormal situation, which makes youth, becomes liable to involvement in illegal or anti-social activities.
Socio-cultural: signifying the combination of social and cultural factors
Influencing: the ability to have an effect on the character, development or behavior of some one
Governance: This is an act of exercising authority over a group of people in a community or stale in order to perform the basic functions of government such as maintenance of law and order and provision of essential services.