Drug use and trafficking have surely gained prominence among some young Nigerians, many of whom are entangled in the web of their harmful repercussions.
Drug-related cases in Nigerian courts demonstrate how profoundly drug misuse and trafficking have corrupted society’s tissues.
Drug trafficking is defined by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as an illegal trade that involves the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and sale of controlled substances.
The use of illegal drugs or prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals for purposes other than those for which they were prescribed, or in excessive doses, is referred to as drug abuse.
Drug misuse, according to medical professionals, can lead to social, physical, emotional, and occupational issues.
In Nigeria, the National Drug Control Agency (NDLEA), established by Decree 48 of 1989, is charged with eliminating the cultivation, processing, manufacture, sale, export, and trafficking of hard drugs. According to the NDLEA, any drug with psychotropic effects is listed as restricted. Some of the prohibited substances on the NDLEA List are cannabis Sativa, heroin, cocaine, codeine, tramadol, methamphetamine, Rohypnol, extol 5, diazepam, and ephedrine.
These drugs are considered to have high psychotropic effects and their use is restricted. Unfortunately, many more young people seem to have found comfort in using hard drugs for personal and business gain. The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use indicated that 14.3 million Nigerians, representing 14.4% of the country’s population, used psychoactive substances in addition to alcohol. The effects of hard drug use include an increase in criminal activity, including cyber fraud. Drug abuse and trafficking are of concern to governments, community leaders, parents, schools, and other stakeholders.
According to the attorney for NDLEA, Lagos State Command Jeremiah Aernan, the rate of abuse of hard drugs by young people has become alarming. Aernan calls for collective efforts to deal with the threat. He blames the ugly trend in part on the influence of social media, adding that “Currently, social media has improved the distribution of hard drugs, as there are now drug dealers online. So you find out that once these young people need drugs, they just order online the same way you order online shopping items.” Research reveals that these hard drugs are sold under code names.
“They can say I want to buy a pencil and the delivery man knows what he means; then it is seen that social networks have facilitated, in no small measure, the trafficking of these drugs,” he says. Mr. Aernan also blames the tendency for peer group influence which, according to him, pushes some young people into cult activities with the resulting effect of illicit drug use. According to him, while some young people engage in drug use in order to have an “experience,” out of curiosity, others become drug lords for financial gain. “Unemployment is another cause of drug trafficking.
Many people have taken drug trafficking as a business; so it now goes beyond its use to derived commercial benefits. If you check the volume of hemp consumed daily in Lagos alone, you find that it is more than 100 bags. “So if someone who sells hemp can make a profit of N3,000 or more per day, do you think that person will want to stop?” he asks.
Aernan says that while there is a control on the importation of ephedrine, its abuse is also rampant. “Codeine was originally used to make cough syrups, but rampant abuse of the drug led to its immediate ban. Some of these young people go ahead and buy cartons of codeine and drink straight just to ‘feel,’” he says. According to him, some hard drugs now have variants that are also used by young people in an attempt to have new experiences.
“For example, there is a variant of cocaine called crack, which is a combination of cocaine, heroin, methenamine, and other narcotics that our young people use. The drug recently intercepted in Lagos came from the high seas and exceeded two tons in volume. “Now there is a great need for guidance from young people on the dangers of drug trafficking.
It also requires parents to verify their wards’ schedules and to keep a close eye on their commitments,” he advises. Also speaking, Osariemen Amadasun, attributes the high rate of a drug crime to uncontrolled use of the internet, adding that many young people use the internet for the wrong reasons. She believes that drug abuse goes hand in hand with the cybercrime known as ‘yahoo yahoo’, of which she is convinced that young people are at the center.
“Some of these young men and even women stay up at night watching their laptops for the next gullible individual to fall victim to their scams. They will ingest substances to keep the mind and body awake. In their jargon, it is to be awake like a fish waiting for the next mugu. “More concerning is the fact that these young people even cook their meals with some of these hard drugs, ingest and inject them just to get a deeper feeling. It becomes a complicated case to try to rehabilitate these drug victims, as some of them see and feel that their body systems are shutting down.
“The danger of using drugs is that once it starts, it is almost impossible to stop; parents must be aware of their responsibilities,” he urges. A nurse who worked at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos State, Ifeyinwa Nwachukwu says: “Many psychiatric cases that we find in hospitals are caused by drug abuse. As a psychiatric nurse, I have been left with drug victims; By how they behave, one can easily tell that they have been on hard drugs.
“Although with medications, some of these drug users become relatively stable, it is better that young people are properly oriented so as not to deepen in the ingestion of any form of an illicit substance. Its negative effects are long-lasting,” she warns. She suggests routine seminars and other enlightenment campaigns on the negative impacts of hard drugs as a strategy to stem the wave of drug-related crime.
Ms. Nwachukwu reports that seminars can be held in schools, hospitals, health centers, and religious centers. A 22-year-old rehabilitated drug victim, Kings Uzoma, recounts that he became addicted to drugs in 2019 after establishing a small computer operating company. According to him, his work schedule made him have new friends.
“We lived around Agric in the Ojo de Lagos area. When I started having large customers, who stay in my store until the evening when it should be closing, I became interested in what they were doing. “Later, I left my parents’ house in Ojo and went to live with them on Victoria Island, where they introduced me to eat rice cooked with Codeine.
From there, we traveled to Ghana. In Ghana, I no longer understood what was happening to me. One day I woke up and found myself back in Nigeria with bruises on my body,” he said. According to him, a hospital prescribed medicine before he regained his senses. Another lawyer, Emmanuel Ozodi, calls for strict punishments for drug offenses.
According to him, judges hand down sentences as small as six months in prison or a fine for drug trafficking. He believes that such penalties have not served as a sufficient deterrent for drug offenses. The lawyer says that while Nigeria should not punish drug crimes with the death penalty, the country should show a strong will to confront the threat through strict punishments.
The NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa recently called for tougher penalties for drug trafficking by eliminating the fine option for drug offenders. At the annual dinner of the Institute for Change Management in Lagos in December 2021, Marwa said: “It is worrying that some of our officers lose their lives in the course of the fight against drug traffickers, but at the end of the day, some of these offenders when they are brought to trial, they are only fined and then return to the same business.”
According to Marwa, the hard drug problem in Nigeria is huge. “Basically, we have to close the pipeline. In other words, take the traffickers and their barons out of the picture. We have to embark on an aggressive drug supply reduction campaign. “It is to this end that we launched the War on Drug Abuse campaign that, in the long run, will help prevent the entrenched culture of drug abuse among the youth of society,” he said.
The analysts call on parents, guardians, caregivers, school administration, religious leaders, non-governmental organizations, corporate entities, and others to join forces with governments to control drug crimes to save young people, the leaders of tomorrow, of its bad consequences. They also urge changes in policies and legislation that will stem the wave of drug-related crime.
Man Faints After Discovering His Wife Is His ‘Landlord’
A Zambian man identified as Martin Stampa reportedly collapsed after discovering his wife is his “landlord.”
Local news platforms reported that Stampa lived in the house for 15 years, and was paying 3500 kwacha every month. It was also gathered that his wife was the one who always took the rent to his “landlord.”
However, an altercation ensued after the lady identified as Lushomo discovered that her husband was having an extramarital affair. Martin reportedly told his wife that he got a side chick because he wanted someone who was intelligent and engages in smart conversations.
This riled Lushomo, who ended up spilling the beans and telling Martin that he’s not intelligent enough as he has been paying her a monthly rent because the house they live in belongs to her.
On seeing the house’s title deeds, Martin lost consciousness and collapsed. People had to drench him with bucketfuls of water to wake him up.
My Administration Has Brought Visible Developments To The State, Lagosians Will Re-Elect Me In 2023 – Sanwo-Olu
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has said he is confident that the electorates in the state will re-elect him to steer the affairs of the state for another four years given his record of achievements.
He spoke during a chat on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics program.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, alongside 14 others, will be jostling for the governorship seat in 2023.
He said his administration had brought in development that can be seen and felt by the state’s residents.
“I managed the emergency of the city. Today alone, there are emergencies that have been reported today alone. I’ve recruited over 650 fire service men. I’ve bought 64 brand new trucks that you will come, I will invite you for commissioning.
“I spent over a billion to take off the refuse in Lagos. We’re creating a sanitary landfill site. That’s what we’re doing. We’re building 1618 kilometres of rigid pavement road that runs to tens of billions. We’re building the biggest market in the country because that’s what we’re doing.”
When he was asked if he saw one of his challengers, Olajide Adediran of the PDP, and his deputy, Funke Akindele, a filmmaker, as a threat, Sanwo-Olu said he is the most preferred candidate because he is more experienced.
“So you know, like I said if you have an emergency, who would you call? What are your chances? Do you call the man that has the experience that has gone through the trenches before that has lived with it that understands what the issues are,” he said.
“That appreciate what challenge you have even at 3 a.m. or will you leave your chance to someone that doesn’t know where the dial is or that doesn’t even know what the issues of governance are? This is Lagos.
“This is an informed audience. This is not a tea party. We’re talking about real governance. We’re talking about the lives of 20-plus million Nigerians.
Sanwo-Olu added that Lagos cannot be left in the hands of someone who “cannot run a business that has 100 people.”
The Governor noted that traffic robberies and accidents have significantly reduced following the directive on motorcycle (okada) transportation.
Okada riders were banned by the governor from plying in six local government areas in the state – Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa and nine local government councils areas.
It is not the first time the government would impose the measure.
In January 2020, the government banned the operation of motorcyclists in 15 local councils across the state.
The governor said that since he gave the directive to restrict the motorcyclists in certain areas of the state, residents have written to him commending the development.
“We’ve also seen a significant drop in accidents. You know, we don’t see people being lame, you know, cutting off limbs in our hospitals again, because these were reckless driving that usually terminate people’s life, unexpectedly,” he said.
“We’ve seen tremendous improvement in that statistics to support. In terms of death drop in the last two months. At the peak of it, we saw about 550 Okada-related accidents at the peak of it in January for over a month.
“Now, it’s coming down to less than 100 direct Okada accidents that we’ve seen, from our hospitals.”
On Amotekun, Sanwo-Olu said there is no need to replicate the Western Nigeria Security Network called in Lagos.
He said the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corp is a replica of the security outfit which “works closely” with the Nigerian Police Force.
“We have the Lagos State Neighbourhood Watch, which are almost 7,000 men that have been trained, that have been energized and are working day to day in the state,” he said.
“There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.”
Since its establishment in 2020, the security outfit has been operational in five states in the South-west except for Lagos.
HEALTH: Nigeria Records 157 Monkeypox Cases, Four Deaths
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 157 cases of monkeypox across 26 states in the country.
This is contained in its latest monkeypox situation report for week 30, posted on its verified Twitter page.
According to the report, four deaths were recorded in 4 states – Delta (1), Lagos (1), Ondo (1), and Akwa Ibom (1) from January 1 to July 31, 2022.
So far, Nigeria has at least 413 suspected cases of monkeypox.
The report read in part, “There were fifty-six (56) new suspected cases reported in Epi week 30, 2022 (25th to 31st July 2022) from nineteen (19) states – Ondo (13), Plateau (8), Lagos (6), Adamawa (4), Abia (3), Borno (3), Delta (2), Kano (3), Anambra (2), Bayelsa (2), Kwara (2), Akwa Ibom (1), Gombe (1), Imo (1), Nasarawa (1), Osun (1), Oyo (1), Rivers (1) and Taraba (1).
“Of fifty-six (56)suspected cases, there were twenty-four (24) new confirmed positive cases in Epi week 30, 2022 from twelve (12) states – Ondo (5), Kano (3), Lagos (3), Abia (2), Adamawa (2), Bayelsa (2), Kwara (2), Delta (1), Anambra (1), Gombe (1), Rivers (1) and Nasarawa (1).
“From 1st January to 31st July 2022, there have now been 413 suspected cases and 157 confirmed cases (105 male, 52 female) from twenty-six (26) states – Lagos (20), Ondo (14), Adamawa (13), Delta (12), Bayelsa (12), Rivers (11), Edo (8), Nasarawa (8), Plateau (6), Anambra (6), FCT (5), Taraba (5), Kwara (5), Kano (5), Imo (4), Cross River (3), Borno (3), Oyo (3), Abia (3), Gombe (3), Katsina (2), Kogi (2), Niger (1), Ogun (1), Bauchi (1) and Akwa Ibom (1).
“Four deaths were recorded from 4 states – Delta (1), Lagos (1), Ondo (1), and Akwa Ibom (1).
“Overall, since the re-emergence of monkeypox in September 2017 and to 31st July 2022, a total of 925 suspected cases have been reported from 35 states in the country.”
Man Faints After Discovering His Wife Is His ‘Landlord’
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