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