Civil Society Perspectives on Youths and Violent Conflicts in Nigeria
In any society, the youth occupy a strategic position in the social ladder because they form the most vibrant strata of the population and engage in a variety of energetic activities. However, most often than not, members of the youth are wittingly or unwittingly involved in conflicts of violent nature through the manipulation of their psyche by influential groups in society such as the ruling elite, the wealthy, the political elite, etc. How does civil society perceive youth involvement in violent conflicts? What factors account for the vulnerability of the youth to the exploitation of their energies by individuals or groups for perpetrating violence in society? Using case studies across Nigeria’s geo-political zones to exemplify how the youths are always at the centre-stage of violent conflicts, this article attempts to answer these questions by arguing that no group can simply engage in violence of any nature without premeditating causes. Thus, the involvement of the youth in violent conflicts in Nigeria is as a result of factors that are inherent in the fabric of the material condition of the Nigerian society.