Rituals are a feature of all known human societies. They include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but also rites of passage, atonement and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coronations and presidential inaugurations, marriages and funerals and many other ritualistic events. Ritual features are the bedrock of African culture and religion. Religion is an integral part of African traditional life which constitutes the bedrock of majority of the themes and storylines of the earlier film productions (Dipio, 2007). The ritual faith and religion in African traditional worship is thus deeply embedded in almost every socio-religious rituals. It enhances their identity as a people and offers clues to understanding their cosmological framework and thought patterns. Since Africans believe that God is a higher spiritual force that is involved in their affairs as a community and individuals, they reach out to him through other gods and minor deities like Sango the god of thunder; Ogun, the god of Iron; Ala the earth goddess; Ajoku, the yam god; Osun, the river goddess and several others. However, on the individual level, there is always a personal or family god who is considered to wade off evil and bring goodluck to individuals and families. This understanding frequently gets represented in majority of Nollywood films, especially in rituals and symbolically conveys the notion of faith in God and the gods, not only in the traditional setting, but also in modern day African society. African traditional religion encompasses beliefs in a supreme God, other gods, ancestors, communal rituals, personal rituals and recognizes the existence of witchcraft, magic and sorcery, sacred specialists and other spiritual forces (Alawode and Fatonji, 2013).
Adagbada (2014) stated that “ritual as a religious is a ceremony which involves communication with some external forces. It embodies a belief/beliefs and it is done with seriousness and solemnity”. Alawode and Fatonji (2013) described ritual as a place where people integrate short-term pragmatic goals and the longer-range mythic values of a culture, where they can replace personal alienation with an affirmation of personal identity.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Every society across the globe has its peculiar problems and challenges. Nigeria is not an exception. As a developing country, she faces her own share of social, political, economic and cultural problems which has in no small measure affected the well-being of the populace. Such problems bedeviling the country include youth‟s unemployment and the rising wave of crime, which have serious implications for national development.
The population of youth in Nigeria is about 46.4 million especially between the age group of 15- 39 years (National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Abuja. 2017). As the overall population of the youth is growing, government should provide jobs and other incentives to teeming unemployed graduates and youths. Unfortunately, unemployment situation in Nigeria, especially the youth has been on the increase since mid 1980s when the economy started witnessing a down-turn. Although, unemployment is a global phenomenon but the rate varies across different countries depending on the size and capacity of the economy to provide jobs for its citizens.
Unemployment rate in Nigeria has continued to be on the increase despite the abundant human and natural resources available in the country. Chronic youth‟s unemployment is evident in Nigeria. Every year, thousands of graduates are produced but there are no jobs for majority of them. Nigerian streets are littered with youth hawkers who ordinarily would have found gainful employment in some enterprise (Okafor, 2011). The large number of youths who are unemployed is capable of undermining democratic practice as they constitute a serious threat if engaged by the political class for clandestine and criminal activities (Okafor, 2011).
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (2009), the national unemployment rates for Nigeria between 2000 and 2011 showed that the number of unemployed persons constituted 31.1% in 2000 and reduced to 11- 9% in 2005. Again, it rose to 23.9% in 2011 and 29.5% in 2012. It has been projected by NBS that unemployment rate will rise above 35% in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The same statistics showed that on the average, youth unemployment rate in Nigeria was 46.5% in 2012 (BLG, 2012).The high rate of crime in Nigeria today has been blamed in many quarters on unemployment, especially of the youth. Research findings suggest also that the unemployed youth are disproportionally more likely to be perpetrators as well as victims of crime and violence (Okafor, 2011). The growing gap between the rich and the poor affects the society through increased violence such as ritualism. Youths due to the influence of unemployment nowadays want to get rich as quickly as possible thus resorting to kidnapping.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to assess the influence of unemployment on youths involvement in kidnapping. Other objectives of this study are:
i. To examine the prevalence of youth involvement in kidnapping
ii. To determine the factors that leads to the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
iii. To ascertain if unemployment increases the rate of youth involvement in kidnapping
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses will be tested for its validity in this study:
Ho1: The prevalence of kidnapping in Nigeria is low.
Ha1: The prevalence of kidnapping in Nigeria is high.
Ho2: Unemployment does not significantly influence youth involvement in kidnapping.
Ha2: Unemployment significantly influences youth involvement in kidnapping.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study can not be overemphasized as the study exposes the relationship between unemployment and youth involvement in kidnapping, the prevalence of youth involvement in kidnapping, and factors that leads to the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria and the relationship. Hence, the findings will undoubtedly apprise the federal, state and local authorities of the need to ensure adequate establishment of avenues to decrease the rate of unemployment. And the consequences that may likely arise if neglected.
In view of this, it is expected that one of the most paramount resultant effects of this study is that it will encourage the government to work out policies that will effectively curb the alarming rise in the rate of unemployment.
Lastly, this study will also contribute to the body of existing literature on the topic under study, thereby serving as a source of information for students and researchers who may be carrying out further studies on related topics.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be focusing on the influence of unemployment on youths involvement in kidnapping. Specifically, this study will be focused on examining the prevalence of youth involvement in kidnapping, determining the factors that leads to the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria and ascertaining if unemployment increases the rate of youth involvement in kidnapping.
Residents of Odukpani Local Government Area, Cross River State will serve as enrolled participants for the survey of this study.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will be limited to the influence of unemployment on youths involvement in kidnapping. Specifically, this study will be limited to examining the prevalence of youth involvement in kidnapping, determining the factors that leads to the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria and ascertaining if unemployment increases the rate of youth involvement in kidnapping.
This study will be limited to Odukpani Local Government Area, Cross River State and thus the findings of this study can not be used any where else until further research is carried out.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Unemployment: This is a term referring to individuals who are employable and actively seeking a job but are unable to find a job.
Youth: Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood. It is also defined as "the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young".
Kidnapping: the action of abducting someone and holding them captive.