The State, Society and Political Relationships of Northern Nigerian Youths in the Fourth Republic (1999-2019)

Main Article Content

Musa Kabir Umar
Sulaiman Abdullahi Bambale


The paper examined the tribulations and the effects of how the political class bastardized and corruptly mishandled the democratic politics of northern Nigeria which in effect criminalized the mindset of the youth since the inception of the Fourth Republic in May 1999. The pointers of these youths' criminalities are seen in activities such as Boko Haram, kidnapping, armed robbery, armed banditry, cattle-rustling, political thuggery and gangsterism among others. These are the current challenges confronting entire northern Nigeria because of the neglect, abandonment, and misgovernance, particularly of the rural areas. The objective of the paper sought to analyze the challenging effects of the northern youths' political misfortunes which caused the northern region to be in a serious security dilemma. Thus, the paper employed historical analysis using a secondary source of data to discuss and analysed how the Nigerian youths were relegated to mere evil political tools by the politicians over the years. It found out that the youth have been in a deplorable condition and had become ready-made instruments of the politicians to commit electoral crimes. Thus, they have become vulnerable to any anti-social conduct that can easily get them to quick and fast monetary advantages or religious extremism. The paper lastly suggests that the condition of these youth must be improved to deal with emerging social threats. This can be done by investing adequately in education, social services, infrastructural facilities and instantaneous provision of employment opportunities.

Fourth republic, Northern Nigeria, political gangsterism, youth

Article Details

How to Cite
Umar, M. K., & Bambale, S. A. (2019). The State, Society and Political Relationships of Northern Nigerian Youths in the Fourth Republic (1999-2019). Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences, 9(4), 1-9.
Original Research Article


Osuma O. Paradigm shift: Youth engagement in the conduct of the 2015 elections in Nigeria. Journal of African Elections. 2016;1-24.
DOI: 10.20940/jae/2016/v15i1a1

Olaiya TA. Youth and ethnic movements and their impacts on party politics in ECOWAS member states. SAGE Open. 2014;1(4):1-12.
DOI: 10.1177/2158244014522072

Sanusi LS. Nigerian youth: A threat to national economy? A Lecture delivered on the graduation and annual lecture Series of the Katsina Vocational Training Centre, held at the State Secretariat Katsina; 2010.

Musa KU. Poverty and political violence among youth in Katsina metropolis. Yar’adua University Journal of Social and Management Sciences, Maiden Edition. 2016;1(1):30-47.

Sambo S. Research findings in the development needs of the adolescent, in: Kolo F.D. (Eds.). Journal of Educational Research and Development, Faculty of Education Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. 2007;2(2).

Madaki M, Mohammed ZI. The resurgence of daba in the current democratic political process: Result from empirical study in Kano. Paper Presented at the International Conference on Youth and National Development, organized by the Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, Bayero University Kano; 2008.

Kankara IS. A history of ‘kauranci'’ and its transformation in birnin Katsina c1900-2007, M.A Thesis (unpub), Bayero University, Kano; 2011.

Aremo AG. The structure of youth unemployment in the context of economic development: The Nigerian experience. An Unpublished Paper Presented at the Maiden National Conference of the School of Arts and Social Science, At Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo State-Nigeria;

Olaiya TA. Examining the colonial basis of anomie in African youth: Implications on political governance. Unpublished Paper presented at the 2012 national conference on youth and national development, organized by the faculty of social sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; 2012.

Mbaya PY. The implications of political thuggery on socio-economic and political development of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. International Journal of Asian Social Science, Asian Economic Society. 2013;3(10):2090-2103.

Saka LA, Seblomo B. Practices and attitudes of youth in politics in Epe local government, Lagos State, Nigeria. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences. 2013;19:90-98.

Alhaji AU, Doho AW, Sule B. Effect of political thuggery on sustainable democracy in Nigeria. Sahel Analyst: Journal of Management Sciences. 2016;14(3):76-89.

Channels Television. British government warns citizens against visiting 21 states in Nigeria; 2019.
Available: british-government-warns-citizens-from-visiting-21-states-in-Nigeria/

Yagboyaju DA. Nigeria's fourth republic and the challenge of a faltering democratization. African Studies Quarterly. 2011;12(3):93-106.

Appleton JB, Belden W. Northern Nigeria: A study in political geography. Economic Geography. Clark University. 1936;12(4). Available:
Man C. Top definition; 2008. Available:
(Accessed on 20th-06-2019)

Isa MK. (n.d). Politics, economic and society: What role for the Nigerian youth? Available:
(Accessed 20th-06- 2019).

Abba A. Violent politics and elections in Nigeria: The example of the northern states. In: Oyedele, E. (Ed) Gombe Studies. Journal of Gombe State University; 2008.

Umar MZ, Danjuma IA. The youth, political violence and prospect for democratic deepening in Nigeria. A Paper Presented at a Two-day International conference on youth organized by the centre for democratic research and training, Mambayya House, Bayero University, Kano; 2008.

Umar MM. The role of youths and politicians in electoral violence in north-eastern Nigeria. In: Olasupo B. (Ed), Electoral violence in Nigeria: Issues and perspectives, Freidrich Ebert Stiftung, Lagos; 2003.

Wakili H. Youth and rioting in Kano, Nigeria. 1991-2004. FAIS Journal of Humanities. 2005;3(3).

Udeh SC. Youth unemployment and poverty in Nigeria: Implications for national, security. Being a paper presented at the international conference on nigerian youth, political participation and national development, organized by the centre for democratic research and training, Mambayya House, Bayero University Kano-Nigeria; 2008.

Dan Asabe AU. Yandaba the ‘terrorist’ of Kano metropolitan" in: Kano Studies (Eds), Youth and Health in Kano. Journal of Savannah and Sudanic Research. 1991;3(5):33-47.

Umoren R. Economic reforms and Nigeria's political crisis. Spectrum Books Ltd, Ibadan; 2002.

Ya'u YZ. The youth, economic crisis and identity transformation: The case of yandaba in Kano. In: Jega A.M.(Ed) Identity Transformation and Identity Politics under Structural Adjustment Programme in Nigeria. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala in Collaboration with Centre for Democratic Research and Documentation. 2003.

Nwanko OO, Udeh SC. Militias, vigilantes, and gangs: Implications for conflict management. In: Adedeyi AG, Zabadi IS. (Eds) The Military and Management of Internal Conflict in Nigeria. National War College, Abuja; 2005.

Luqman S. Agent of destruction: Youth and the politics of violence in Kwara state, Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa. 2010;12(8).

Kano SA. Poverty and the traditional qur'anic school system in northern Nigeria: The politics of almajiri phenomenon. A Paper Presented at the Conference on Nigerian Youth and National Develop-ment, organized by the Center for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, Bayero University Kano- Nigeria; 2008.

Haruna A, Jumba AH. Politics of thuggery and patronage in the north-eastern Nigeria. Academic Research International Journal. 2011;1(1):45-62.

Unah L. Young Nigerians fight to create space in closed political system; 2018.

(Accessed: 22nd-06-2019).