A Qualitative Analysis of Contemporary Youths’ Response to Diverse Issues of Social Justice in Nigeria

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Oghoadena OSEZUA, Obafemi Awlowo University, Nigeria
Emma AROGUNDADE, Human Science Reserach Council, South Africa
Sharlene SWARTZ, Human Sciences Research Council; University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
The study sets out to document the perception of selected youths about the possibility of achieving social justice in Nigeria against the backdrop of ethnic and religious divides synonymous with the present Nigerian State. Specifically, the study interrogated the beliefs of popularly acclaimed future leaders’ perception about the Nigerian state, identified their perceived positionalities, privileges or disadvantages, and their reflections about diverse issues of social justice. The study engaged an exploratory research design. A total of 20 university students were purposively selected in one of the foremost tertiary institutions in the South Western part of the country. The selection was based on the following; ethnicity, religious affiliation, class and gender. Primary data were generated through the use of semi- structured interviews guides with a vignette component and written assignments by the participants. A phenomenological approach was used in analyzing the data. Findings reflected primordial sentiments held by three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. While the participants from the Northern parts of the country believed that they were highly privileged judging from their ability to consistently hold on to political powers, the Igbo youths averred that they are the least privileged and the most victimized group in Nigeria. The Yoruba youths affirmed that they were also privileged judging from their ownership of major educational institutions. Similar divergence in opinion was revealed in relation to religion which was congruent with the religious sentiments expressed by the Christian and Islam adherents across the nation. The study concluded that not much has changed in the trajectories of trying to build a new Nigeria as many youths are unconvinced about the reality of achieving the Nigerian project that will ensure social justice for all and sundry.