I am sick and tired of the hypocritical ‘political correctness’ and intimidation by way of claims to ‘hate speech’ in the matter of drugs addiction among Arewa youths. We are gradually losing our youths to drugs – and the gradual has since become rapid. We must therefore call a spade a spade – and whatever a shovel will say, let it!
The other day I visited an inner-city neighbourhood in Kano City for a midday meeting. The young boys I saw all appeared stoned, high, drugged. When they spoke (“A gama lafiya Honourable!” and “Me za mu samu ne Yallabai?” etc), they eliminated all doubt about their state of mind; the slurred speech, the gait, the mannerism, the unkempt hair, the I-don’t-care-attitude all combined to tell me this is, sadly, an almost lost generation.
Over the past year, I have attended dozens of conferences and roundtables on drugs. Over the same period, I have heard our elite and leaders speak on this epidemic, pandemic, that has almost completely annihilated a whole generation. All speakers condemn, cajole, appeal, warn, but none seems to be addressing the crux of the matter – SUPPLY!
And that’s what I’m going to do today as I did recently at yet another roundtable where I was quoted to have blamed a minority within a certain ethnic group of being the major suppliers of drugs to OUR, not THEIR, youths. Our youths, and us, are under siege wallahi. And the earlier we jettison all fear of Diaporic Curses by Loud-Mouthed Internet Warriors, the better for us.
Let me say this – I am Hausa-Fulani. Despite my Fulani-ness, I have time without number condemned so-called herdsmen who are mainly Fulani AND who are involved in criminal activities. I again condemn them and call on them to fear God and recant. So, if herders are Fulani, and that’s not hate speech, I see no reason why the identity of drugs traffickers who are destroying our youths cannot be said. Every ethnic group should be courageous enough to do as much – condemn the criminal elements among them. And that’s not asking for too much.
As an academician and journalist, it comes easy, by Allah’s Leave, to be able to do some little research and follow-throughs on this matter. The following are a few illustrations:
“The Katsina State Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA…said it had…impounded a trailer in Dutsenreme area of Funtua loaded with 24,000 bottles…of cough syrup with codeine in a trailer from Onitsha to Funtua…Among those arrested are Christian Chukwuma and Obiora Chukwuma…”
“A hard drug (Intoxicant) supplier, identified as Stanley Arinze, has been arrested by the Kano Police Command for trying to smuggle hard drugs…The tablets worth N19, 200,000 were intercepted after being concealed inside LG Plasma TV cartons in a trailer along Kano Eastern bye-pass. The man, a native of Anambra State, reportedly supplies Tramadol tablets to Kano and Republic of Niger…” and “Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja…sentenced a man, Mr. Anthony Chidi Ikeaba, to 14 years imprisonment for unlawfully importing 1.782 kg of cocaine into the country…”
“Officials of the…NDLEA at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos prevented two Nigerians from execution in Malaysia…Onovo Sylvester Henry…and Ufiri Onyedika Emmanuel…were caught attempting to smuggle 2.575kg of methamphetamine to Malaysia where drug offences attract capital punishment. Nnamdi John Kingsley was nabbed while taking delivery of the television sets containing heroin…“ I have also asked in previous articles: “Where is that container of tramadol intercepted a few months ago by a team of patriotic customs officers destined for No. 3, Festing Road, Sabon Gari, Kano? Where are the arrested and named traffickers Mr. Stanley Arinze, Mr. Onuchukwu Benjamin Owulu and Mr. Igboanugo Vincent Tochukwu?”
and And then, if this doesn’t alarm you, nothing else will, ever! “NAFDAC has intercepted 33 containers of tramadol which were being conveyed to a yet-to-be-ascertained location in Nigeria…The disclosure was made by the NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Adeyeye, in Abuja…”
Arewa, are we also drugged? Why would we just sit down and watch people from elsewhere just come and destroy our youths in broad daylight? Why is nobody following up on these traffickers? Where are the prosecutors and the judges who are alleged to be conniving and using technicalities to release – purportedly on bail – these traffickers who more often than not are never arrested again?
I know some economics. I even know many economists – they of the ‘on the one hand…and on the other hand…’ In fact, I even spoke at a Dinner by BUK Economics Students Class of 2008 just last week. I know inflation and what a small salary can’t do; I know scarcity and glut, in layman’s language ‘over-supply’.
My little knowledge tells me supply trumps demand. Elementary economics, as explained on Wikipedia, says “When supply of a product goes up, the price of a product goes down and demand for the product can rise because it costs less.” Key words here: “Costs Less”. We, therefore, must staunch the supply.
It is good that “Two draft bills have been initiated for legislation to tackle drug abuse in the country…The proposed bills are the National Drug Control Bill and National Mental Health Bill…”
This is all good. The Senate President and his colleagues were in Kano recently, and they promised to do something about drugs abuse. Apparently, they are keeping to their words. But is this enough?
The Senate President should listen to the call by NAFDAC DG Prof Adeyeye: “The National Assembly should amend the law such that drug peddlers could be given stiffer penalties…Using drugs is centrally controlled or central nervous system-based which means it hits the brain immediately and it changes the user to somebody else. During the first use and second use, the brain of the user becomes very different because of dependence. The youths are then no longer able to control themselves, and that is where the crimes, terrorism, come in. Therefore, please let the word go out that drug use comes with consequences. Many youths are dying of drug overdose because it is very easy for them to access addictive drugs…”
Our children are massively into drugs because there is massive, unceasing and incessant supply. We must staunch the supply. Then review our laws. Then detoxify our children. Or simultaneously and concurrently.
We all wonder why we cannot bring capital punishment to national crimes such as drugs trafficking and, to be politically-correct, to kidnapping, rape, armed robbery and murder. Is Thailand more sensible than us, for example?
Two NDLEA State Commanders I follow closely are Kano’s Hamza Umar and Katsina’s Maryam Sani who are genuinely as concerned as I am on this very serious matter. This is not to say the others are not making effort, but Kano, Jigawa and Katsina are my immediate neighbourhood.
So, let’s recap – the Katsina Elite (I will here particularly appeal to senior academic colleague the Wazirin Katsina Prof Sani Lugga) should rise and help Maryam Sani of NDLEA and follow up on the Funtua case. The Kano Elite – LEADS of Barr. Aisha Dankani and Concerned Kano Citizens of Alhaji Bashir Tofa for example – should help Hamza Umar of NDLEA to unearth the matter of 3 Festing Road Sabon Gari and ‘drugs in plasma television’.
Pan-Arewa, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Northern CAN, Usman Bugaje’s Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and those Arewa October Youths must just have to collaborate and do something in unison, for once.
We just have to do it, and may Allah make it easy for us.