Why Nigerian Youths Join Boko Boko Haram – Report
A report by the United States Institute of Peace has given reasons why the Boko Haram terrorist group has been able to recruit many Nigerian youths.
The report made available yesterday draws extensively from a larger study to examine youth radicalization and insurgent affiliation in Nigeria.
According to the report, unemployment, illiteracy, and weak family structures make or contribute to making young men vulnerable to radicalization while itinerant preachers capitalize on the situation by preaching an extreme version of religious teachings and conveying a narrative of the government as weak and corrupt.
The report further states that armed groups such as Boko Haram can then recruit and train these young people for activities ranging from errand running to suicide bombings.
The report also proffers solutions to the Boko Haram menace including monitoring and regulation of religious preaching, strengthening education, job training and creation programme, designing a robust programme to aid destitute children, promotion of peace education, and an invigorate anti-corruption campaign.
The report notes that addressing the conditions that make it possible for insurgents to recruit young men in Nigeria can significantly diminish the strength of the insurgency, if not eliminate it altogether.
Estimates of the death toll from Boko Haram attacks since 2009, the report states, ranged as high as 10,000 fatalities with the Boko Haram insurgents and other groups seemingly gaining in strength.
The report however states that the views it has expressed did not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Institute of Peace, which, it says, does not advocate specific policy positions.
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