Violent crimes among youths have become a very disturbing phenomenon in Nigeria. Such crimes like robbery, kidnapping, assassinations, cultism and rape daily have screaming headlines in our print and electronics media.
Many innocent Nigerians have fallen victims in the hands of these criminals either being maimed and even killed. Sometimes, huge ransoms are demanded or placed on the victims, failure of which to meet their demand at their set time, in most cases result to death or unpleasant consequences.
Violent crimes among youths need immediate and positive steps to stop this heinous acts because anybody could fall a victim in the hands of these criminals.
What then are the causes of violent crimes among youths? What should the government do to stop the ugly and very unpleasant trend in our country?
- Unemployment: An idol mind, they say is the devil’s workshop. Frustration resulting from unemployment has pushed many of our youths to go into violent crimes. Imagine the pain or agony of able bodied young men and women not doing anything, roaming the streets, completely disorganized. The next thing is to take to the shortest possible cut to life – violent crime.
- Economic Depression: This is another cause of violent crimes among youths in the country. For instance, Nigeria is no longer the country it used to be. There is hunger in the land coupled with galloping inflation. Prices of items have sky-rocketed making an ordinary Nigerian completely frustrated. He looks right and left and the only option available to him is to take to violent crimes.
- Tribalism and Neglect: are another cause of violent crimes in Nigeria. There is tribal sentiment in the country. The fear of tribal domination and neglect for instance has forced many angry youths to unleash violent crimes against humanity. Herdsmen and farmers crisis, the Niger Delta Militants and the Gboko Haram are good examples in Nigeria. Besides, there is apathy and general hatred in the country.
- Corruption is another cause of violent crimes in Nigeria. For instance the youths watch with dismay how most corrupt Nigerians live in affluence driving big cars and building mansions while they find it difficult to eat three square meals a day. Besides looting, embezzlement of public funds, capital flights and other corrupt practices are on the increase. All these and many more force a number of the youths to take to crime in the country.
- Proliferation of arms in the country is another cause of violent crime in the country. Our borders are so porous paving the way to free entry of arms from neighbouring countries. So availability of arms make it very easy take to arms in a somewhat frustrating society and commit violent crimes in the country today.
What should the government do to arrest this very disturbing trend in the country?
- Conscious efforts should be made by the government to create employment in the country. According to the Bureau of Statistics on employment in 2018, unemployment has risen from 17 million to about 23 million. This is a very dangerous signal for the country and if not checked could double by 2030.
- Good fiscal policies aimed at revamping the country’s ailing economy should be put in place. Incentives like granting tax holidays, improving our power generation will attract foreign investors into the country. This will help to generate employment for the teaming youths in Nigeria.
- Tribalism and complete neglect of certain sections in the country because of politicks should be discouraged. The present amnesty programme introduced by the Federal government of Nigeria is a right step in the right direction.
- The problem of corruption which has destroyed our economy should be strongly addressed. The various agencies assigned to fight corruption in Nigeria should be re-organized and strengthened. EFCC, ICPC, Judicial system and other relevant bodies should wage strong wars against corrupt culprits. Those who are guilty of corruption should be arrested, jailed and their looted funds confiscated.
- Our porous borders should be strengthened and the modern monitoring gadgets should be mounted at the borders to check influx of arms and ammunitions from neighbouring countries. In addition, the relevant agencies like the Immigration, Customs and other security agents should be re-organised and empowered with modern technology to mind our borders.
In conclusion, if the above mentioned causes and measures are strictly followed or addressed, the high waves of violent crimes among youths in Nigeria would be drastically reduced to the barest minimum.