Poverty and Violence in Nigeria -Implication on Democracy

Bello Ibrahim


This paper discussed the relationship between poverty and violence in Nigeria and their implications on democratic consolidation. Poverty has many effects and one of its obvious manifestations is violence. This submission has been justified using social structure and anomie theory. While democracy seeks to provide equal socio-economic and political opportunities across populations and/or sub-populations of a nation, poverty is an albatross to the attainment of such egalitarian socio-economic and political arrangements. Looking at most developing countries and in Nigeria in particular, poverty is obviously an artificial social problem and it is created by corrupt politicians. These vested interests are recruiting unemployed and illiterate youths into political thuggery, such as Yankalare in Gombe State, ´Yan sara-suka’ in Bauchi State, ‘Yandaba’ in Kano State and ‘Bakassi’ Boys in Abia State. The paper also found that, religious radicalism by ‘Boko Haram’ in the northern Nigeria and other violent activities by insurgents in the Niger Delta, such as Niger Delta Avengers are all reflections people’s frustration on unemployment and poverty. The paper recommended that, to achieve democratic society, we shall overcome the scourge of violence in Nigeria through fighting poverty.

Keywords: Democracy, Poverty, Unemployment, Violence.

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