In most countries across Africa, terrorism has been blamed on governments’ failure to achieve inclusion of its citizens. Political instability, joblessness are also some of the alleged causes and motivations of youth joining terrorist groups.
With some traces of truth laced around it, it is unfortunate that identity thirst can hardly be cured by devolution or even financial inclusion. The urge to belong is a core human need to feel ownership of our self, take comfort in a unique identity, and feel a sense of belonging to a larger ‘something’.
Seeking identity is part of human living; the greed to acquire identity however has forced most young men and women into extremism, into craving for recognition and eventually gaining identity and belonging to a group of people whose silver lining is similar.
Family units and the society at large are responsible if not entirely for violent extremists. As young boys grow into men, they either get attached to a sport, a skill or even a profession. However, in informal residential areas as well as slums, bullies and rogue younglings make it almost mandatory for teenage boys to identify themselves with a gang or a rival group.
The desperate need to be recognised and respected by peers as well as evade harassment and mistreatment would be followed by rogue acts and deeds just to prove worth and eventually satisfy leaders of the militia groups. As a young mind and member of the society, seeking for identity becomes a top priority agenda in life. This evidently shows itself in today’s society as terrorists chase identity and attention by all means.
That if a bomb attack happened today, a terrorist group owns up and publishes video clips as militants beat their chests as the most dangerous and heartless outfit. Today, terrorist groups and militia across the world strive to beat each other at not only following but also the kind of attacks launched.
The inhumane behaviour motivated by absurdness traces back to formation of gangs and militia at young ages and the misled notion of life motivated by a dangerous seek of identity and recognition.