Father, Son Arrested For Sealing Drugs To Secondary School Students

Father and son have been arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, for selling Tramadol and other hard drugs to primary and secondary school pupils in Itire area of Lagos State.

This was disclosed by police operatives who said the father, Ibrahim Sheu (40) and Franku Ibrahim (23) were arrested on Friday after officials of the Office of Education and Quality Assurance, Lagos State, alerted the Rapid Response Squad officers about the incident.

The police said the suspects, who are petty traders at a kiosk in Adedeji Bus stop, Itire, Lagos, were caught selling the drugs to school pupils, saying some of the pupils were later interrogated and released to their parents.

The officials of the Ministry of Education, Lagos State, on routine monitoring of schools around the area had gotten report of strange attitude of some of the school pupils in the area.

The curiosity led to the discovery of the traders selling tramadol and other hard drug to some of the school pupils in the area.

Further investigations by RRS officials led to the confirmation of the report and arrest of both the father and his son.

Recovered from the suspects were 72 pieces of Tramadol capsules, 28 tablets of Tramol and some other capsules.

The father, Sheu, who initially denied selling hard drugs to pupils, stated that it was his son who sold the drugs to the pupils whenever he was not around later confessed they both sold to pupils but added that they sold to adults too.

Commenting on the incident, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal advised parents and guardians to always debrief their wards whenever they come back from school to know their activities in schools and the kind of friends they associate with.

Edgal said the case would be thoroughly investigated and the prosecution monitored.

The suspects are to be transferred to the SCID for further investigation.


Bukola Saraki Reiterates Senate’s Commitment To Tackle Drug Abuse

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has reiterated the resolve of the 8th Senate to tackle the menace of drug abuse in the country, even as he pledged that the Red Chamber will continue to ensure that women and children are respectfully treated both in the schools and work places.

Saraki spoke yesterday when he received a delegation from the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), led by Amirah Hajia Halima Jubril, at the National Assembly.

According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the President of the Senate on Print Media, Chuks Okocha, Saraki reiterated the determination of the Senate to work towards the eradication of drug abuse among all segments of the society.

The President of the Senate narrated to the FOMWAN delegation how the Senate conducted a roundtable conference on drug abuse in the ancient city of Kano.

“We in the Senate have taken a position on the over-the-counter purchase of drugs and its implications on the society, especially women and children,” Saraki said. “This is of great concern to us and we have made our recommendations to the executive arm of government. We will ensure that we protect our women and children from the dangers of drug abuse,” he said.

Saraki also stated that the Senate will ensure and guarantee the rights of all Nigerians, especially women and children in their place of work and school.

“This Senate cares about the rights of all Nigerians, especially as it regards issues of discrimination. This Senate will ensure that everyone is fairly treated,” he said.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Hajia Jubril, called on the Senate to strengthen the laws on drug abuse as a means of mitigating the increasing trend of the menace of drug abuse.

“The Senate need to take decisive action through legislation to protect the rights of women and children,” she stated.


Olamide’s Insult Called ‘Science Students’ By Gbenga Adebambo

If you want to destroy a generation of youths, lower their role models and references. When the standards that youths and children look up to are lowered, the children would undoubtedly grow up to live inferior lives.
There has been a progressive dearth and downgrade of role models worthy as references to the Nigerian youth. The pertinent question to ask at this challenging time is this: Are Nigerian artists truly role models to the youths?

Gone are the days when youths truly look up to people of great virtues and values as references. Instead of the entertainment industry to engineer a real revolution that will usher in the next generation, it has become a platform only for a ‘thousand laugh’ and morally deficit songs.

Today, we have many youths with ‘entertainment value,’ but no intellectual value.

We cannot shy away from the fact that the fastest way of getting any message to the youth is through the entertainment industry. The youth of nowadays would rather be entertained than to be educated.

This is the more reason why parents must keep a diagnostic eye on the kind of messages their wards are gleaning from the entertainment industry.

I am a firm believer in the fact that it is possible to entertain the youth in an educative way.

Ignacio Estrada, a ventriloquist, motivator and educational consultant, once said: “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”

We must face the fact that the youth of nowadays learn mostly from the entertainment industry, which is why I have decided to be a non-apologetic alarmist on the content and messages that the Nigerians artist are ‘feeding’ the youth with.

There is a trending song by Olamide, called Science Students, which has created some moral controversies among the youth in the past few weeks. At a time when drug abuse has become a common place among the youth, we need a very clear and unambiguous message from Nigerian artists against this unholy trend.

Though Olamide has explained several times that his latest smash hit song is aimed at fighting drug abuse, the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has slammed a Not-To-Be-Broadcast (NTTB) warning on the song and proscribed it from being broadcast on all radio and television stations.

The song was not out-rightly banned, but prohibited from being played on local stations for public consumption. Its subtle promotion and profligate mention of illegal drugs were the main reason for declaring it unlawful. NBC believed it could encourage youths to get involved in drugs.

At this juncture, I really want to salute this step taken by the corporation, as it assures that it can still be looked upon as a fair umpire.

Olamide mentioned the use of prohibited drugs and illicit substances, such as monkey tail, Skushi, Shisha and alomoterming, referring to those who use and mix them as science students. This classical attribution follows what science students do in the laboratory, which is mixing chemicals.

If truth be told, this attribution is uncalled for, as it would give a lopsided image of students in the sciences.

Dear Mr. Olamide, I really admire how you have grown over the years to hold the youth spellbound. Do you know that there is a great campaign for STEM in the world presently? The song could have been used to propagate this campaign. You could have used this song to inspire more youths to go into the field of science, but rather, you gave them a distorted message in your song.

Your song is an insult to science students, but it is appalling to know that these vulnerable youths have so much lost themselves in the euphoria of just listening to your voice. They seldom scrutinise the contents, as they have been ‘charmed’ by your groovy songs.

I listened to an interview Olamide granted on the controversial song, where he alluded to the fact that he wanted to give his fans something groovy, but Mr. Olamide, the truth is that the youth don’t really need something groovy; they actually need to be groomed.

The interview looks more like an afterthought, as I see Olamide’s responses more of a defence, as he could not intellectually clarify the controversies generated through the song.

The Nigerian artists must begin to communicate to the youth with clarity and intellectual depth.

I remember with deep sense of nostalgia, those optimistic and patriotic songs that instilled a sense of strong belief in Nigeria in me back in the 1970s and 1980s when we were growing up. These songs became part of my formative years and they so much molded my growing up to love Nigeria strongly.

Singers, such as Funmi Adams (Nigeria, my beloved country), Onyeka Onwenu (One Love), Evi-Edna Ogholi (Message To the Youth, There is No Place like Home), Mike Okri (Time Na Money), Sunny Okosun (Which Way Nigeria), Veno Marioghae (Nigeria Go Survive), Christy Essien-Igbokwe (Seun Rere, Let’s Change The System, Saboteurs) and Stella Monye were all unrepentant in their audacious belief in a better Nigeria.

They sang it even when it was not yet obvious to them. They watered the nation with revolutionary songs. They were all ardent believers in a new Nigeria. Onwenu’s latest effort, Inspiration for Change, focuses on the need for an attitudinal turn-around in Nigeria.

Today, it is poignant to note that we now have artists that have thrown caution to the winds and are using their influence to raise a generation of nonchalant, rebellious and pessimistic youths.

Some years ago, an artist sang a song that rented the air with the catchy words- Nigeria jagajaga. Today, the same artist has gone into oblivion. Such is the fate of his kind.

I know things have changed in the music industry for the past decades and I don’t expect us to still be old school, but the content must never be trivialised.

To Davido, Phyno, Olamide, Marvin crew, Whiz Kid, etc, I believe you people need an image builder, a content evaluator and probably a youth specialist that can help you empower the youth through your songs. We need artists that are renewed thinkers.

Most artists have thrown caution to the wind, as the content of their songs now revolve around nudities, quick wealth, violence, drugs and a false sense of utopia.

We need songs that are inspirational and not the ones that advance the ostentatious display of wealth and nudities. The songs that we have around now have become a mini-pornography haven and resort for the youth.

There are various questions to ask before artists release their songs. What is the moral lesson in the song? What positive message is being preached? What kind of value is being projected? What message of hope and legacy are we leaving behind? What kind of virtue can the youth pick from the song?

We need to encourage Nigerian artists to be tools for effecting change. As a youth advocate and enthusiast, I am worried about the way the entertainment industry is encroaching on the sanity of the youth. With concerted efforts, the entertainment industry can be used as a veritable tool to engineer positive change among the Nigerian youth.

It is appalling to know that the artists that many of our youths are looking up to do not possess the virtues and values that are sacrosanct to youth development. Who will teach the youngsters values? Is it the Nigerian artists, with the evolution of morally bankrupt and deficit songs, styles and trends, such as twerking, skelewu, etc? I doubt it.

We have had enough of songs that are inimical to youth empowerment and development. The Nigerian artists must come together to fight this debilitating trend among them. They should take the challenge of investing positively in the Nigerian youth through their songs.

I believe that a national form of re-orientation needs to be done for these artists to know that their fans are almost 95 per cent of youths.

John Wooden said: “Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating.”

I want to reach out to the Nigerian artists: Please, be the role model you needed when you were younger.

Sanusi Seeks Compulsory Drug Test For Nigerian Leaders, Politicians

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, yesterday advocated for compulsory drug test for Nigeria’s leaders. He also accused politicians for using addicts as thugs.

He said this at the opening of a two-day Senate discussion on Drug Abuse Epidemic in Nigeria held in Kano yesterday, Sanusi said: “If we, the leaders, political office holders, ministers, emirs, senators and even Imams claim we are not part of the cause of this menace, we are deceiving ourselves because we have seen how governors parade these youths who are under the influence of drugs and move around in their convoys for security cover.”

Sanusi, who represented the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Sa’ad Abubakar, said: “You can count many of these thugs who are on the payroll of politicians, working for them and having access to security agencies. In fact, it is becoming profitable for these youths to work for these politicians who give them all they want rather than look for gainful employment. We should all be part of the solution. Any person willing to take up public office should therefore undergo a drug test. And if positive, should be denied the opportunity.”

The emir called for better funding for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. He also blamed the abuse of psychotropic drugs in the North on poverty, illiteracy and broken homes.“You find a man who cannot care sufficiently for a wife getting married to two or three women, producing 20 or 30 children, and sending them out to care for themselves. This must stop. Until the government looks into family management and punishes anybody who treats family like slaves, the war against drug abuse might not be won,” Sanusi said.

Senate President Bukola Saraki pledged the commitment of the legislature to the enforcement of drug laws.Kano State Deputy Governor, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, disclosed that the fight against drug abuse was beyond the capacity of the state and called for Federal Government support.

According to him, “Kano has the largest share of all the challenges, considering our population and commercial base, yet we have just one rehabilitation center. The government set up a task force. Arrests were made. Drugs worth N4.6 billion have already been destroyed. But this has little or no effect on what is on ground.”


Drug Abuse: Health Professionals Call For Holistic Approach


In order to curtail indiscriminate abuse of drugs and substance, some medical practitioners have advocated a holistic approach towards its eradication from the society.

The medical practitioners, Doctors Dokun Adedeji and Adeoye Oluwole gave this advice during a live radio interactive programme in Osogbo recently.

Dr. Oluwole, who is a practising Psychiatric and Consultant at the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo called for the overhauling of the Act establishing the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) so that its core job would focus on launching massive campaigns to secondary schools and higher institutions of learning.

He stated that the NDLEA was just like another agency of the civil service where operatives just go about carrying guns and pushing chunks of files in their offices.

Dr. Adeoye maintained that the agency should establish a standard education department where they would undertake enlightenment campaigns to schools and involve parents, students, teachers and other sister government agencies.

Also, Dr. Adedeji called on the NDLEA, to localise its war on drugs, instead of embarking on interdiction.

According to him, “the NDLEA has done a fantastic job of fighting drug use at the international levels from the airports and borders but they have only succeeded in catching the minions because the real drug barons are in their comfortable offices from where they direct their operations.

“The western countries have given the agency all the gadgets they need in order to keep the drugs at home so that they won’t cross over to their side but this is not the solution.

“In this regard, I support Dr. Adeoye in that the war on drugs should be more local. The fight should be directed inward and not outwardly”.

The duo decried the situation where suspected drug users are chased away from schools and societies left on their own.

They stated that if chased out, they would go to other schools and set up another cell there.

“These groups of people need counselling and psychiatric treatment so that they will go forward in life.

“But how will they encourage these type of treatments when the society frowns at rehabilitation. When they see you in a psychiatric institution like the ones in Yaba, Lagos and Aro in Abeokuta, there is always a stigma attached to it”.