Indeed, addiction and abuse are rampant among the youth, while trafficking has for long become a major source of livelihood for a number of Nigerians.
Of note, is that hard drug use and violent crimes are complimentary, although the Federal Government have, over the years, paid lip service to this fact.
A source of worry lies in the role of the political class, in the use of drugs by their foot-soldiers to gain political mileage.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Pro. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the interest of the Powers That Be makes it difficult for to curb hard drug menace.
Drug addiction, abuse and trafficking have to a great extent contributed to the worrisome state of insecurity in Nigeria. Are you comfortable with this fact ?
The history of the rise in criminality could be traced to the era of the military incursion in governance. If we are to connect it with the mysterious disappearance of Gloria Okon and the ultimate unrepentant investigative journalism that resulted in the demise of the late Dele Giwa, then it leaves much to be desired.
That was the period when we could actually conclude that the cookie crumbled and the secrecy of illicit affairs and undercover criminality were found to be glorifying the creme de la creme of the society, which the Late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, described as the expected Very Important Personalities(VIP) into the actual reality of government and the elite class been constituted by vagabonds in power. Things Fall Apart, according to the late Prof. Chinua Achebe, was why the Falcons could no longer hear the Falconers, while the center became elusive to hold.
Suffice it to now say that if the ‘’Powers that Be’’ are clearly uninterested in drug abuse or trafficking the criminals behind it wouldn’t have been so difficult to tame.
This is an era when sadism has replaced parental need in governance, for those in power to be daring in their involvement in the evils that they are supposed to control.
Let’s first use the exchange of prisoners for innocent citizens who were kidnapped by the government of a state to settle the bandits, what of the case of Wadume, who was released from captivity by some Soldiers ?
When criminals are been aided and abetted in a nation, justice is already murdered and the issue of security is at stake. Most often, like fables, tales from Arabian stories, innocent, but poor citizens are often exchanged for the real criminals, who have Barons as godfathers.
Unfortunately, Nigeria has lost all virtues revolving on the dignity of labor to core values of integrity, which has been replaced by the craze for material wealth and quick money making schemes.
Unfortunately, the ugly phenomena has crept into the houses of God,changing the divine code of sacredness into the satanic code of profanity.
We can easily infer that Nigerians are naked now, losing the glorious wares of spirituality to lack divine intervention in their political, social and economic affairs, while most of us are dehumanized, chasing the shadows of life in accumulating wealth illegally.
To exhibit our height of shame, Nigerians hero worship and even confer honors and chieftaincy titles on most of the people with questionable character.
Drug abuse cuts across all classes of Nigerians, with respect to age, position and other measures.
Children start with burnt cigarette remnants through their peer group and when they are in adolescence, they engage in the use of marijuana or cannabis, either for mere pleasure or to be active in fornication or at social gatherings.
The originality of developing potentials through technical trainings, is hereby absent in their bid to make an head way in life.
This extends to the deterioration in our reading culture, to the extent that they resort to the misuse of the social media, while Nigerian institutions end up turning out graduates, who are unable to express themselves.
This poor background, cuts across our social, environment and economic lives, which results in the production of quacks, while at the same time depending on artisans, in place of technical experts and skill based leaders.
In this kind of environment, it is therefore, normal to have drug addicts in government, who might not be able to fully control the activities of drug traffickers.
Nigeria has become a mere talk shop, where evil doers lead in the praise and worship of God.
Leaders who have corruptly enriched themselves, now lead in counseling prison inmates and also blaze the trail in the presentation of papers on ways of preventing crime.
Any lofty idea for development, is gloriously orchestrated to be abandoned at the implementation level.
Nigeria failed in Vision 2010, we somersaulted in Vision 20-20-20, which has made our becoming one of the 20 economically viable nations in the world a mirage.
What of how we insulted the United Nations, on its charges to all nations of the world, to fund education adequately and the health sector to a functional state. This is just as government has failed to utilize the benefits of various grants, including the Millennium Development goals(MDGs) and the ongoing Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), instead, we excel in using tribal sentiments and nepotism to run each other down, while the country’s image abroad is always at stake.
For example, 77 out of 80 caught for cyber crime in the United States of America, happen to be Nigerians.
Nigeria is the major recipient of xenophobic attacks, while the kind of character Nigeria breeds, makes the whole world justify the country’s decapitation challenges in Saudi Arabia and China.
Nigerians top in the number of criminals in various jails across the world.
Apart from the international embarrassment, the home front is equally suffering from threats of insecurity, if the activities of a cult group who engaged in ritual killings in Ikorodu in Lagos some time ago and most recently in Oyo state, are anything to go by.
Only under the influence of drugs, can anybody carry out such dastardly acts.
What about the Boko-Haram onslaught in the North East of the country ? and the banditry in Zamfara state, don’t also forget the Fulani herdsmen activities, the South South militancy and the continued kidnappings across Nigeria, which began from the South East.
Nobody will carry out this onslaught of mass killings and property destruction without been under the influence of hard drugs.
Prosecution of court offenders which seems unclear, is a reflection of the lack of seriousness of government and the Judiciary because the impact has been so infinitesimal to bring about deterrence.
It is fundamental to note that drug abuse, drug trafficking are devilish as child trafficking for hard labor or ritual killings, human trafficking and the girl child ordeal in this modern day slavery, have always been influenced through drug abuse.
Prostitution and other crimes considered to be social problems, have their root in the effects of bad governance and the weakeness of the the apparatus of the system for effective control.
The hope of eradicating these evils, to have a sanitized society, is therefore in realizing that every Nigerian is a stakeholder, who has specific roles to play, starting from the agencies of government and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as the religious houses, through reviving into a functional state all agents of socialization to be coordinated through continuous sensitization programs by the National Orientation Agency through the media.
No single individual can do it and without government provision of basic amenities and functional infrastructure and employment as visible signs of good government insight. Let us all de emphasize quick money making syndrome, but uphold dignity of labor to prevent drug abuse and addiction, child trafficking, girl child abuse and women marginalization in the scheme of things.
With this on ground, the network of evil will easily be broken, for us to have a reliable and admirable nation expected of Africa and the rest of the world.