Nigeria's Drug Epidemic || By Rahaman Onike - Mega Icon Magazine
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Nigeria’s Drug Epidemic || By Rahaman Onike

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DRUG abuse over time among the Nigerian youths has been a major cause of national quandary due to its devastating effects on the populace. It has always put serious burden on the nation’s health institutions and on annual national health budget.

Where there is prevalence of drug abuse among the populace, the funds that may ordinarily be utilized for other developmental projects are likely to be expended on treatment and rehabilitation of the patients.

Several social disorders in the country nowadays which are national nightmares are associated with the menace of drug misuse and abuses among the Nigerian youths. It has now assumed the status of an epidemic in the country, unlike in the past when the phenomenon was hardly heard and not well spread as the case today.

People of different ages and both gender are often fond of taking illicit drugs and it is now a common occurrence across the nation’s socio -cultural boundaries. Infact, the trend now and the rates of people’s involvement is somehow disgusting and ridiculous particularly in some northern states.

According to reports, Kano State is the most notorious when it comes to prevalence of substance abuse by small children, women and even the aged people.

More specifically, pupils in the primary and secondary schools’ ages are more notoriously involved in the case of illicit drug abuses in the country nowadays. This partly explains the reasons why our adolescents in the secondary schools are visibly implicated in several reported heinous crimes such as cases of kidnapping, yahoo yahoo, ritual killings, armed robbery among other vices in the country.

What this portends is that drug using attitudes and behaviours are indeed major predisposing factors to several illicit crimes as currently prevalent in our society today.

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Glaringly, drug using attitudes of the primary and secondary school pupils cannot be treated with levity, for it has alot of damning effects on the school learning outcomes as a whole and due to the specific negative consequences on the academic achievements of the addicts and drug abusers.

Nigeria’s progression from minor to major drug abusing nation is not unconnected with the challenges of poor parenting, parental bereavement, child abandonment, parental separation among other family issues that could predispose a child to drug abuse.Stress induced by family challenges has made a lot of people become attracted to drugs and substance abuses.

Again, cocaine being expensive and not easily accessible made some of the abusers to now opt for cough syrup like codeine, tramadol,tyre gum, hypo in lacasera,tomtom in lacasera, rephnol among several others as potent alternatives. At times, some abusers do snuff defecation, alabukun, concentrated urine on the excuse that the nauseous substances do give inspiration and can help them to improve on their sexual, mental and physical performances.

Unarguably, the excessive intake of any of the stimulants often results into psychiatric illness. Despite this reality,abusers will not see anything wrong with the drugs .When you visit any of the psychiatric hospitals today,you will discover that some of the patients are victims of drugs or substance abuse.

The amazing scenerio is that drugs are never a panacea to life challenges no matter the active ingredients.Even with the sedative and anti- anxiety agents in some of the abusing drugs and substance,there is never a report of anyone that has overcome stress permanently due to the drug intake.

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Rather than to overcome stressful conditions,the report we receive daily is the exhibition and manifestation of highly destructive personal and social behaviours by the drug abusers such as persistent cases of suicidal behaviours,incaceration among other risky behaviours associated with substance abuse.

Of course, Nigeria’s rising profile in drug trafficking and drug abuse has refused to wane over the years despite the awareness programmes by the government and the press in addition to the advocacy by the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

From mere transit route for marijuana and other opiates, Nigeria has transformed to a country peopled by major hardened abusers and traffickers of hard drugs.

Recently, some Nigerians were killed in foreign countries for drug related offenses. Yet, the rate at which more people are getting involved is unabated and somehow worrisome.

With the report of a collaborative study recently released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in collaboration with the European Union, about 14.3 million Nigerians representing about 14.4 per cent of the country’s population between the ages of 15 and 64 were said to have abused drugs in the past one year.

This is worrisome because of the deleterious effects of drugs or substance abuse on both the abusers and the society at large.It seems we are not winning the war against drug abuse.

In my view, legal control and judicial measures seem not to be sufficient in combating the menace.I feel strongly that apart the effective application of legal instruments and enforcement procedures,greater attention needs to be paid to counselling.Of course, rehabilitative efforts alone cannot equally do the magic. So far drug abusers mirror the dysfucnality of our social life and the problem portrays the true image of our country, it is better the problem is seen as such that requires emergency declarations by the government and other stakeholders.

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The odious effect is not good for the image of the country in any way.

 

Besides, a lot of positive impacts could be made by making educational institutions to be more actively involved in the war against drug abuse through programmes of instruction in the school. It is envisioned that effective curriculum activities in the school can engender positive attitudinal change on the part of drug abusers.

Other agencies such as the mass media and health institutions should not be left out of concerted effort towards ensuring that proper value re-orientation is provided for the citizens of all ages with emphasis on evils of drug abuse.

Without recording success in the war against drug and substance abuse,our country cannot be crime free. This is because, the more people take hard drugs and abuses substance, the higher the tendency for an increase in the nation’s crime rates.

 

Rahaman Onike, Public Affairs Analyst writes from Oyo, Oyo State

 

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Fayemi reacts to xenophobic attacks, says South African leaders must take convincing actions

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The Chairman Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has called on South African authorities to do more to pacify keen observers of the Xenophobic developments in the country.

Fayemi recalled the roles played by Nigerians and Africans towards liberating South Africans in their days of struggle asking that such should be reciprocated.

“The South African struggle was a Pan African project. I recall what many parents did in Nigeria , everybody contributed. As a Young University student I was a volunteer in the ANC Chief representative office in Lagos, spending greater part of my youth involved in the struggle to free South Africa”, Fayemi recalled.

He continued : “Leaders in South Africa need to really demonstrate that they actually understand what Africans are saying to them. South Africa is not an Island.”

Fayemi stated that showing aggression and putting a uniform tag of criminality on all foreigners in South Africa is an error of judgement which smacks of ignorance and ingratitude.

But he calls for caution in the clamour by some protesters that Nigeria should sever ties with the Country as he highlights the peculiarity of international relations.

“Foreign relations is not handled in a precipitate manner, countries go through processes, I believe we haven’t got to the stage yet where we cut off relationship with South Africa”, the Ekiti state governor noted.

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How Sowore planned to overthrow Buhari, free El-Zakzaky – DSS

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has said its investigation so far revealed that ‘Revolution Now’ was smokescreen for the actual intention of Omoyele Sowore, the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the last presidential election, to overthrow President Buhari.

The security agency also alleged that Sowore intended to free Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) having received millions of Dollars from foreign sponsors.

The DSS also said it engaged in a painstaking investigation of Sowore’s activities in view of the quantum of evidence so far gathered and may return to court to seek an extension of the 45 days granted it by the Federal High Court, Abuja to detain him.

The DSS made this known in a fresh document it filed at the Federal High Court on Monday in response to an application by Sowore, challenging the court’s order, granting the security agency 45 days to detain him pending investigation.

In the counter-affidavit deposed to by Godwin Agbadua, an official of the DSS, it was stated that Sowore was arrested on reasonable suspicion of having committed a capital offence, upon his alleged involvement in terrorists’ activities.

“The respondent/applicant (Sowore) planned to violently change the government through the hashtag RevolutionNow. The respondent/applicant hid under the cover of call for mass protest with the hashtag RevolutionNow to mislead unsuspecting and innocent members of the public into joining him to topple the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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“In his plot to topple the government the respondent/applicant held series of meetings with members at a prescribed terrorists‘organisation, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) with a view to mobilizing strong forces to realize his agenda at changing the government

“The respondent formed an alliance with a fugitive, Nnamdi Kanu, a self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed terrorists group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to launch series of attacks on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

“After series of closed-door meetings between the duo in the United States of America, they addressed a press conference wherein they both stated their resolve to form alliance against the Nigerian government, the duo stated that they have a well-planned out strategy to realize their objective, which is toppling the government.

“The applicant/respondent is investigating the activities of the respondent /applicant as it relates to a terrorists organisation, IPOB. The facts show a conjecture between the respondent/applicant and IPOB activities.

“There is the need for the applicant/respondent to investigate such reasonable suspicion of the relationship between the respondent/applicant and IPOB.

“The respondent held series of meetings with some foreign collaborators outside Nigeria including Dubai where millions of dollars were given to him to sponsor a widespread attack on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and freeing Ibrahim Yaqub Elzakzaky (Shaikh).

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“In furtherance to the plans to violently free Elzakzaky from lawful custody. The respondent held several meetings with a proscribed terrorist’s organisation. Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) where they strategized on how to carry out attacks to force the government to free Elzakzaky.

“The respondent stated in one of his videos that Shiite members, who are members of the proscribed terrorists group, IMN were going to join forces with him in bringing down the government. The statement and the meetings of the respondent/applicant raises issue of grave suspicion of supporting a proscribed terrorists’ organisation, IMN.

“The suspicions require diligent investigation by the applicant/respondent. The planned action constitutes a threat of violence to intimidate or cause panic in members of the public as a means of affecting political conduct

“The investigation is still ongoing. Upon the completion of investigation, the case file will be forwarded to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation for advice and possible prosecution,” DSS said.

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London varsity bans beef to curb climate change

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Goldsmiths University, London, has banned all beef products from its campus “to help fight climate change”.

CNN is reporting that the university also announced an additional levy of 12 cents on bottled water and single-use plastics.

Frances Corner, the university’s warden, was quoted as saying the measures is part of steps introduced to help the fight against climate crisis.

Beef is said to be responsible for 41% of livestock greenhouse gas emissions, and livestock accounts for 14.5% of total global emissions in the world.

But the university — which seeks to become carbon neutral by 2025 — said the product will be scrapped from its campus menu when the new academic year begins.

“The changes come as part of a major drive to cut carbon use across Goldsmiths as the College joins other universities and institutions in declaring a climate emergency and announcing a determined aim to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2025,” Corner said.

“I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organizations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use.

“The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore.

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“Though I have only just arrived at Goldsmiths, it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible.”

 

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