Traditional Youth Forum Impact on Community Peacebuilding in Nigeria
Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of this study, are as follows:
- To assess the historical evolution of traditional youth forums in Nigeria and their role in community peace-building.
- To identify the specific mechanisms and strategies employed by traditional youth forums in contributing to peace within their communities.
- To analyze the challenges and constraints faced by traditional youth forums in their efforts to promote community peace in Nigeria.
The Role of Traditional Youth Forums
Traditional Youth Forums (TYFs) play a pivotal role in the socio-political landscape of Nigeria. These forums, often deeply rooted in cultural traditions and community values, serve as vital mechanisms for channeling the energy and enthusiasm of young people towards constructive engagement in peacebuilding efforts within their respective communities (Ali, 2020).
In the Nigerian context, TYFs can be defined as grassroots organizations primarily composed of young individuals who come together to address various community issues, including conflict resolution, reconciliation, and social development. These forums are embedded in traditional structures, drawing upon the wisdom of elders and the vibrancy of youth to facilitate dialogue and bridge gaps within communities (Mecha, 2021).
The role of TYFs extends beyond being platforms for dialogue; they act as intermediaries in resolving disputes and conflicts at the local level. They employ indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms that are often more culturally sensitive and acceptable to the parties involved (African Union, 2020). TYFs are recognized for their ability to facilitate peaceful coexistence among diverse ethnic, religious, and social groups, contributing significantly to community harmony (Buwule, 2018).
Furthermore, TYFs are instrumental in promoting social cohesion and community development. They engage in activities such as skills training, vocational education, and capacity building, addressing challenges like youth unemployment (Gukurume, 2018). By providing opportunities for skill acquisition and economic empowerment, TYFs empower young people to become self-reliant, reducing the potential for conflict arising from economic disparities (Azeng, 2018).
In recent times, TYFs have also assumed roles in advocating for youth rights and participation in decision-making processes at various levels of governance (Sommers, 2019). They act as a bridge between the youth population and government institutions, striving to ensure that the voices and concerns of young people are heard and integrated into policies and programs (McEvoy-Levy, 2020).
However, despite their essential role, TYFs often face challenges related to resources, recognition, and sustainability (Gu, 2020). Limited financial support and institutional recognition hinder their ability to scale up their peacebuilding initiatives (Maringira & Gukurume, 2022). Additionally, political co-optation of TYFs poses a risk to their autonomy and impartiality, potentially undermining their effectiveness in conflict resolution (Cincotta, 2018).
Community Peace Building
Community peace building is a multifaceted concept encompassing various strategies and approaches aimed at fostering harmony, resolving conflicts, and promoting social cohesion within local communities in Nigeria (Akpuru-Aja, 2019). It is not merely the absence of violence but rather an active process that addresses the root causes of conflicts and seeks to create an environment where individuals can coexist peacefully. The significance of community peace building cannot be overstated, as it forms the bedrock of stability and development in Nigerian society.
This chapter presents the methodology employed in researching the impact of Traditional Youth Forums in community peace building peacebuilding methodology section outlines the research design, population of the study, sampling technique, sample size, sources, and methods of data collection, data analysis method, as well as considerations regarding validity, reliability, and ethical aspects.
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
Distribution of Questionnaire
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Summary of Findings
The study’s findings offer a nuanced perspective on traditional youth forums in Nigeria, with a particular focus on their historical evolution, role in community peace-building, strategies, and challenges faced. These findings reflect a diverse array of opinions and perceptions among the surveyed individuals.
When considering the historical evolution and peace-building role of traditional youth forums, it becomes apparent that there is a notable discrepancy in how these forums are perceived. Some respondents emphasize the historical significance, with a belief that these forums have played a crucial role in community peace-building efforts. However, others hold a contrasting view, expressing scepticism about the forums’ historical evolution and their impact on peace-building.
In the context of communication and conflict resolution techniques employed by these forums, a significant proportion of respondents acknowledge the effectiveness of their methods. This perception suggests that many individuals believe these forums excel in managing conflicts and promoting peaceful resolutions through communication. Nonetheless, a degree of uncertainty persists, indicating the need for a more detailed exploration of the specific techniques and approaches utilized.
One of the most striking findings pertains to the perceived ineffectiveness of the strategies employed by traditional youth forums for peace promotion. A substantial portion of respondents hold the belief that these strategies are outdated and no longer effective. This scepticism underscores the necessity for a closer examination of the strategies these forums employ, with a focus on potential reassessment and innovation. While some respondents disagree with this perception, the prevailing agreement highlights the urgency of addressing the adaptability and relevance of these strategies in the context of evolving social, cultural, and political dynamics in Nigeria.
Lastly, the findings reveal a significant level of uncertainty regarding specific challenges and constraints faced by traditional youth forums in their peace-building endeavours. This uncertainty suggests that many respondents lack a clear understanding of the hurdles these forums encounter. To address this issue, it is essential to conduct further research and provide more comprehensive information about the challenges faced by these forums to inform targeted interventions and support mechanisms.
In conclusion, the findings from the hypotheses tested in this study provide valuable insights into the perceptions and beliefs surrounding traditional youth forums in Nigeria. The results reveal a complex and diverse landscape of opinions and uncertainties regarding the historical evolution, the effectiveness of strategies, and challenges faced by these forums in their peace-building endeavors.
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