YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND EMPOWERMENT IN NIGERIA: THE PANACEA FOR NATIONAL INTEGRATION

Ann Chinwe AKPUNONU

Abstract


Man is a gregarious animal by nature and where one or two are gathered together, there must be divergent opinions, interests and needs. Man living in a state of nature where everything was free for all and the dominant rule is the survival of the fittest or rather the end justifies the means. There was great deal of insecurity and thus no peace, there could be no nation in such a situation, not to talk of different ethnic groups coming together to form one Nation. It therefore follows that for a nation to come into existence there must be peace, security controlled by a system of conflict management, since they are elements or ingredients for national unity and integration. The paper examines the above topic using doctrinal methodology supported with primary and secondary sources of information and comparative approach. Albeit, in the course of examining the above terms as ingredients for national integration, we were able to discover that lack of prospects for youth, partly as a result of poor foundation led by the British Imperialist, poor leadership, are very fertile grounds for extremists and frustrated youths to explore. Others include corruption, neglect of the welfare of the citizenry, and non adherence to the rule of law are most often the bases for conflict generation within our nation especially among the youths. We therefore suggest that good governance through rule of law will do a great miracle for conflict management, enthronement of peace, youth development and empowerment and security are very important for national integration for a country like Nigeria. The paper further recommends that conformity to international standards set out by the Convention on the Rights of the Child 2003 and other African instruments are also good framework for youth’s development and empowerment.

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