SOCIOECONOMIC LIFESTYLE AMONG THE YOUTHS AND THEIR VULNERABILITY TO CRIME IN NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES
1.1 Background of the study
Youth involvement in criminal activities in Nigeria has assumed a worrisome dimension in recent times. There has been an increase in the occurrence of acts of violence and lawlessness, including hostage taking of prominent citizens and expatriate oil workers as well as oil bunkering, arms insurgence, cultism etc especially in the Niger Delta region. Nigeria is among the developing countries of the world, and is experiencing a prevalence of rising crime waves, criminal intentions and varying degree of delinquencies. The nature of these crimes include armed robbery, murder, car theft, burglary, gambling, smuggling, human trafficking, kidnapping, drug trafficking, internet scam, advanced fee fraud (419) and other illegal activities (Eyegbeleye, 2005; Adebayo, 2013).
Nearly everywhere and around Nigeria cities, the atmosphere is inflicted with criminal menace being wrecked on law-abiding members of the Nigerian public by criminals. The highway has become a theatre for frequent robbers, car snatching and murder, while homes of the rich and the poor are targets of daily murderous campaigns by hoodlums (Ushie, 2000). There are reports of crimes committed mostly by the youths at virtually every corner of the country. Youth’s involvement in criminality has become an integral part of the nation’s daily life (Adebayo, 2013). Youth is an important development phase in human life and the most energetic forces of the society. Different characters, structures, goals, and temperaments have been reflected in their life due to the impact of socio-economic status (Konch & Borbora, 2013).
Youth involvement in criminal activities in Nigeria is not a recent phenomenon. What is new, however, is the increasing phenomenon of youth restiveness, armed robbery and other social vices resulting socio-economic status of the youth (Nwagbara, 2007 cited in Ugal, Nwagbara & Uyang, 2011). The activities of these youths who had gotten themselves involved in all manner of crime is noted to have reached an alarming proportion in contemporary time. The weapons and methods used by youth involved in criminal activities are getting more sophisticated leading to state of helplessness. Criminal activities are becoming the order of the day. This has been attributed to factors such as the widening gap between the various social classes, unemployment, poverty, rural/urban drift, peer pressure etc, (Eli, 2002).
The youths constitute a vital segment of the society in which they live. A disciplined, focused and law-abiding youth can create bright future for the nation. While a lawless, indulgent and violent youth is a great threat to a nation’s peace and security (Amadu, 2007). Based on the gap existing in knowledge, this study attempted to highlight the socio-economic factors responsible for criminal activities among youths in Calabar metropolis of Cross River State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the problem
There have been researches on the challenges of socioeconomic lifestyle of youths in relation to crime. This project gives further explanation and analysis into the topic.
1.3 Objectives of the study
1. To examine the relationship between poverty and youth’s involvement in criminal activities Nigeria universities
2. To determine the relationship between unemployment and youth’s involvement in criminal activities in Calabar Metropolis of Cross River State.
1.4 Research questions
1. What is the relationship between poverty and youth’s involvement in criminal activities in Nigeria universities?
2. What is the relationship between unemployment and youth’s involvement in Nigeria universities?
1.5 Research hypothesis
H0: There is no significant relationship between poverty and youth’s involvement in criminal activities
H1: There is a significant relationship between unemployment and youth’s involvement in criminal activities
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