This paper points out that youth involvement in violent extremism has become a serious security problem globally. With particular reference to Nigeria, it identifies Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast, Fulani herdsmen/pastoralists in the Middle Belt and South regions, Niger Delta militants in the SouthSouth, and Communal ethnic militias in the South-South and Southeast. The paper adopted descriptive approach using available literature and the writer’s work experience. Some of the identified causes of youth radicalization to violent extremism include: raising out-of-school children to hate societal norms and ideals, a faulty educational system, weak family structures, unemployment, religious intolerance, ignorance, ethnic rivalry, marginalization, inequality, discrimination, youth addiction to internet and social media, weak CJS and multiple military conflicts. The paper suggests the following to prevent youth radicalization: creation of elaborate de-radicalization vanguard at community levels, involvement of the youth in the plans of action for de-radicalization in their communities, empowerment of de-radicalized youths, an improved educational curriculum to include subjects like peacebuilding, skill acquisition, religious tolerance, patriotism, entrepreneurial and leadership skills in elementary and secondary schools. Nigerian youths could make positive contributions to the well-being of the nation if the factors that lure them into being radicalized by extremists are tackled.
Key Words: Youth, Radicalization, Violence, Extremism and De-radicalization
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