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This study assesses the Talba Youth Rehabilitation and Reorientation Programme in Gombe state 2011 to 2015. The choice of this topic was informed by the fact that Kalare thuggery in the state had appeared to have defied all efforts by government to stem it. Despite the huge investment of taxpayers‟ money in the efforts to get rid of the menace of political thuggery, yet relatively little was achieved as Kalare thuggery has continued unabated. This is evident, in view of the policies and strategies adopted by the state government such as the introduction of anti-Kalare squad to checkmate the activities of kalare thuggery throughout the state; engaging Kalare thugs as Special Assistants (SA‟s) and Personal Assistants (PA‟s) to the governor, as well as employment of Kalare members in the Gombe State Environmental Protection Agency (GOSEPA). Incremental theory was used as the theoretical framework for the study. Its adoption was informed by the fact that the programme was initiated as a result of the failure of the successive government strategies to tackle the growing trend of Kalare violence in the state. Both primary and secondary sources of data were used. Three survey instruments were used to gather data from the primary source, while the secondary sources were collected through review of related literature. The data was quantitatively and qualitatively presented and analysed using the triangulation method. The study found that, poverty, unemployment and economic disempowerment were the major factors responsible for youth involvement in kalare thuggery. The study also discovered that the introduction of the programme had not effectively ended Kalare thuggery in the state within the period under study. Similarly, the beneficiaries of the programme were only a fraction of kalare youths in Gombe state. In view of this, the study recommends that severe sanctions should be meted against anybody involved in kalare thuggery and their sponsors. More youths should be employed into the programme and an elaborate sensitization campaign involving parents, community and religious leaders should be embarked on immediately to discourage youths from getting involved in kalare related activities.
1.1 Background to the Study
Youths are one of the greatest assets that any nation can have; they are usually embedded with
untainted energy, robust ideas and virile potentials for charting a new path of social production. Anasi
(2010) has observed that the youths are the foundation of a society and thus their strategic value makes
them very critical in nation-building and leadership recruitment. The energies, inventiveness, character and
orientation of the youths defined the pace of development and the security of a nation. Youths can also
constitute a reservoir of energy and dynamism for any national struggle or campaign if they are correctly
guided, mobilized, and fully integrated into the social fabrics of the nation.
Valuable as the youths may be to any nation, however, they could also constitute a threat to
national survival and stability if allowed to be adrift, unemployed, indiscipline, morally bankrupt and
engaged in restive activities. The phenomenon of youth restiveness has been a source of great concern in
both developed and developing societies. But Youths in developing countries especially in Africa are
faced with many challenges such as poverty and unemployment, illiteracy, lack of access to information
and essential welfare services which are manifested in the young people‟s diminished hope for the future
Some of the highest rates of violence, political thuggery, crime, drug abuse and prevalence of
sexually transmitted diseases are seen among the youths population, leading many to label them as a
source of society‟s problem rather than its potentials (Nnachi 2013:19). Nigeria is not an exception from
the menace of youth restiveness and political thuggery.
Existing scholarly opinions such as Samuel (2010:24), Agba (2011:58), Haruna and Jumba
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