AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PLACE OF YOUTHS IN CONTEMPORARY NIGERIAN POLITICS
Price: 2000 Naira (BSC, MSC)
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Background of the Study
Political participation includes political activities such as joining civic/political groups, interacting with politicians, voting, signing petition online, volunteering or participating in campaign (Tang & Lee, 2013). These types of political participation are the important components and foundations of successful democracy (McManimon, 2014). .However, researches have indicated that these types of political participation appear to be declining, particularly among the youth. Thus, scholars over the years have shown concern by investigating the reasons behind youth participation or not participating in political activities (Thun, 2014). These concerns are more apparent in countries characterized with youth declining to participate in political activities (Milner, 2008).
Studies have revealed that youth are not interested in participating in political affairs and thus; do not engage in democratic process (Dahlgren, 2009). In addition, youth do not have trust in representative institutions as well as politicians (Blais & Loewen, 2009).
The youth are acclaimed to be the future leaders, because of the crucial role they play in political and social development of any nation. They serve as the building block that links the past with the present. They also represent the future hope of every society. The survival of any political system depend on the role of youth in participatory democratic plat form which allowed all groups regardless of their position, to participate, articulate and negotiate the interest of national unity(Ibrahim Hussain,1964).
A cardinal feature of democracy remains the active participation of people in governance (Maxweber, 1980).The idea of youth participation in electoral process has become a popular part of contemporary political talk in every part of the world. In democratic states youth are leaders of tomorrow. This is because their age category is accompanied with physical, emotional and cognitive development that provides them the opportunity to contribute their own quota toward the growth and development of the nations (Ibid p.5 ). youth can be identified in the society as transitional stage because of the overall development that take place within the fixed age category. The place and participation of youth in our political process cannot be undermined or over emphasized. For our democracy to be stable and functional youth must be part of the process. Youth have both right and responsibility to help to shape future that they would inherit and quality of life they would experienced (Kenneth Wabara 1967).
Youth participation as a substantial force for inducing planed change which has gained a universal recognition. Youth participation is an expression of an essential involvement of people in their electoral process (Ibid p.10 ). The idea of youth has existed throughout modern civilization, rapid technological development which has resulted in series of lines capable of social reality and also youth participation help to the adoption of such realities (Molose H. 1964). Before then changed has occurred without plans or guidance but, today the trained is towards a planned. Change has enable youth in a large segment of societies to actively participate in planning and deliberates changes by creating political parties which affect their lives (Jhonson Evans 1996).
The nascent phenomenon of state fragility and the debate surrounding its feasibility also pose some challenges to the idea of democracy and the desire for its consolidation in the countries involved. Granted that countries like Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Guinea Bissau, and Zimbabwe, among others that were categorized as fragile states by the (World Bank 2007) report, are practicing democracy, it is our reasoned conviction that the internal contradictions and the structure of the state in these countries portend a strong disincentive for democracy and its consolidation. The justification for this submission is embedded in the nature of the political society, social closure as well as the structure of the economy of these countries. Even though we elaborate on these issues in the subsequent sections of this work, it is apposite to state at this juncture that the countries so categorized as fragile manifest some immanent internal contradictions that undermined we quest for democratic consolidation.
The role of the youth in the political development of the modern nation state dates back to the pre-independence era. We recall with glee that the arrow heads of the nationalist movements in colonial Africa were youth in their teens and early twenties, who were mostly students of higher institutions of learning both at home and abroad.
Among these were the late Kwame Nkrurnah of Ghana, Sekou Toure of Guinea, late Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe of Nigeria, Arnicar Calbra of Cape Verde etc.
However, the failure of this generation of leaders was their inability to develop a platform through which the youth could be trained to participate in political development process. This problem became compounded by the many years of military rule where double strategy of cooptation and suppression was carefully employed to silence dissenting youth who wanted participation in the political process.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
These project bring in a new perspective in the study of the relationship between youth, citizenship and political communication and socialization in the Nigeria context. This current study then falls in line with these new and still on-going studies. The current study explores how Nigeria youth participate in the political process through using new/social media such as Facebook. The study also explores how young people participate in politics offline via use of traditional, as well as new/social media.
Debatably, with the reality that meaning of youth in the Nigerian context defiles homogeneity the foregoing plausibly raises questions about youth social constructions. Indeed while it is easier to play the blame game and suggest that the contemporary precarious state of the Nigeria youth are merely underpinned by neglect and fluctuating budgetary allocations over the years (Odion, 2010; CLEEN Foundation, 2011; NPC, 2011), it is also plausible that within development planning contexts, policy makers and the government, ignore these discrepancies and nuanced contributions of youth social constructions in the implementation of policies geared towards national development.
Within this context, an evaluation of how Nigerian youths construct themselves may prove crucial in defining future youth development agendas. While other studies on the role of the NYSC have viewed it from the aspect of how it provides youth labour mobility (Ojo, 1980) and ethno-religious unity (Nwosu, 1996) through doctrines of national service, effective citizenship, patriotism, and sustainable development ( Obadare, 2010; Raimi and Alao, 2011), a key weakness in literature is that these studies failed to provide critical narratives about how the NYSC deployment strategy impacts on youth capabilities for national development. This study therefore seeks to critically evaluate the role of the NYSC and its deployment strategy through narrative accounts on youth, in order to understand the extent to which it helps develop and positions youth capabilities within the broader national development agenda.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objective of this project is to examine the assessment of the place of youths in contemporary Nigerian politics. The study also intends to discover the reasons for political apathy in Nigeria and to find out the extent to which the citizens trust and have confidence in their political leaders.
To explore the effort, role and contribution of youth in the electoral process
To examine the factor hindering the participation of youth in electoral process
To assess the factors encouraging youth participation in electoral process
To offer solutions that could encourage youth participation in electoral process.
1.4 Research Question
The study seeks to raise and answer the following questions:
i. To what extent do youth participate in electoral process in Nigeria?
ii. What are the factors encourage youth participation in electoral process?
iii. What are the factors hindering youth participation in electoral process?
iv. What are the solutions toward improving youth participation in electoral process?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research is significant in identifying the participation of youth in politics and also to provide suggestion to enhance the future conduct of free violence election among the youth in Nigeria.
The study also intends to discover the reasons for political apathy in Nigeria and to find out the extent to which the citizens trust and have confidence in their political leaders.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is to examine the assessment of the place of youths in contemporary Nigeria politics.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
In carrying out this research many factors served as constraints:
1. The limitation of the research title as just influence of domestic violence on woman psycho-social development.
2. Financial Limitation.
3. Inadequate Time: time factor constitutes the major limitation of this research study. It relates to the fact that the time for research work was short because it was combined with lectures, studies and examination.
4. Negative attitude of respondent: the problem facing the researcher with regards to the respondents relates to the non-cooperation and uncompromising attitude some respondents in giving.
1.8 Definition of terms
Contemporary: Contemporary is the historical period that is immediately relevant to the present and is a certain perspective of modern history.
Politics: Politics is a set of activities associated with the governance of a country or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to group of members.
It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state
Youth: Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young”. Its definitions of a specific age range varies, as youth is not defined chronologically as a stage that can be tied to specific age ranges; nor can its end point be linked to specific activities, such as taking unpaid work or having sexual relations without consent.
Political participation refers to the activities of the mass public in politics, including, for example, voting in elections, helping a political campaign, giving money to a candidate or cause, writing or calling officials, petitioning, boycotting, demonstrating, and working with other people on issues.
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