COVID-19 CONFINEMENT IN NIGERIA: A CONSEQUENCE FOR INCREASED VIOLENT EXTREMISM AMONG YOUTHS
Angela Oyilieze Akanwa
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Department of Environmental Management, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), P.M.B. 02 Uli, Campus, Anambra State, Nigeria.
COVID-19 virus has been spreading at an increasing rate and rapid death cases occurring around the globe. Nigeria records showed over 58 thousand confirmed cases, and more than 50 thousand recoveries, and 1,112 deaths (NCDC 2020). The mandated confinement has disrupted socio-economic and entertainment activities bringing a lot of insecurities among Nigerian youths. This has resulted in a vagary of violent actions mostly among unemployed youths. Hence, this paper reviewed COVID-19 confinement, and its consequences on violent extremism among youths in Nigeria, and also sustainable measures were provided. This paper employed a secondary source of data and a descriptive approach. This paper pointed out that Nigeria’s population is youth-dominated with over 42.54% and the dependency ratio is at 88.2% per 100 non-dependents of over 200 million Nigerians. The concept of counter and prevention of violent extremism, C/PVE was applied as a pathway to address the eco-social, and health inequalities experienced by the vulnerable youth community in Nigeria during the restriction. Findings revealed that violent occurrences in Nigeria have been re-occurring though it was mostly driven by religious, political, and socio-economic factors. Further, the paper showed that there were pre-existing high levels of poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment in the nation before the pandemic. This paper suggested the critical need for innovative interventions to cushion the short-term issues of COVID-19 (virus spread and deaths) and provision of infrastructures, education, digital-employment, engagement among others as sustainable solutions to prevent violent actions and keep youths engaged against future pandemic occurrences while national peace and security is guaranteed.
COVID-19, Violence extremism, confinement, socio-economic drivers and youth groups