Eagle Times Bulletin

War on drugs


It is a known fact or axiom that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of confusion, crisis or insecurity. Crimes do not make room for security, whereas security is man’s worst enemy hence the world over governments launch wars on all forms of crimes in order to create a conducive atmosphere for peace, order, governance, industrialization and wealth creation. It has also been identified that all forms of crimes are committed under the influence of various forms of hard drugs that put the criminals in conditions that make them unable to see reason or the absurdity of his actions. In other words, certain substances or drugs are known to have the effect of dulling the brain or central nervous system thus inducing hallucination and making the user to take actions or behave in a way, he should not have done, under normal circumstances.

Medical experts and scientists have discovered that these categories of substances or drugs apart from the hallucinations, end up ruining the individuals, making them drug addicts and sometimes mentally sick. These hard or narcotic drugs are known to have ruined many citizens of the world whether men, women and young adults. This explains why, in most developed nations of the world, there are deliberate wars against narcotics and hard drugs hence the federal government of Nigeria established an agency to tackle the production, marketing and use of these illicit drugs, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

On January 18, this year, worried by the increasing consumption of hard drugs, the state governor held a crucial meeting with all government appointees and leaders of the ruling political party at all levels. One of the outcomes of that meeting at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC), Owerri was governments plan to launch an all out war against the use of hard drugs in the state. Upon his declaration of the proposed war a lone voice from the crowd echoed that the war should start from the high table claiming that some persons on the high table with the state chief executive are also guilty of the offence. Not a few argued in contrary views but concurred with this submission.

However, on Sunday 28th January, to give impetus to his proposal the Governor set up a committee or task force empowered to launch massive war on drug users, peddlers, farmers, marketers, and perhaps merchants. “Ban and demolish any house or building where drugs are sold or consumed, he roared”.

This is a welcome development as it has been found that all forms of crimes or societal vices, ranging from political thuggery, armed robbery, kidnapping, prostitution, sodomy lesbianism, fraud in music, game, cultism, mental disorder, gangster, fake religion and so on, emanate from drug use and or addiction.

While we wholeheartedly welcome this development and approach by the governor to sanitize the society, nobody is opposed to the programme but a number of issues need to be cleared and we hope the government will take a holistic approach to the programme. We are aware that the law is no respecter of persons and there should be no sacred cows. We hope the new committee is not created to witch hurt some perceived enemies or political opponents, cow them down, hold them hostage and destroy their properties. Will the new committee operate with or independent of the National Drug Law Agency (NDLEA) and does this amount to duplication of duties.

Are we sure this approach will help to eradicate the issue or drive the cartel underground. When extra-judicial killing was introduced as a way of exterminating armed robbery, it escalated the practice and even made the robbers more sophisticated. The same happened when we faced kidnappers and demolished their dens. They flew into the forests and adopted the now, more sophisticated methods that kidnapping went on the increase making top government officials, merchants, even royal fathers and priest’s preys.

It is our suggestion that those on this mission will start with the men on the high table as suggested for many are suspected to barons of large scale consumers. To get good water downstream, the source or upstream ought to be cleansed. As we move into the local shanties, bukas and joints in search of kai kai, Igbo, we-we or marijuana consumers and peddlers, we should not forget to visit the big night clubs in town, the licensed brothels, motels and 3 star hotels to fish out users and harbingers of other hard drugs like cocaine and high spirits in that category to fish out these nude occupants and their big patronizers or customers. We pray that this war will be tackled holistically and not periodically for what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

We salute our governor for this new approach to help sanitize our society and bring our people, men, women, boys and girls to the path of reason and rectitude so that we shall bequeath a sane society to the next generation. It is one thing to enact a law and another to effect it positively. Let his committee not to join other past ones as a vendetta tool or witch hunting out fit with political motivation. All hands ought to be on deck to make the exercise work, both natural fathers. Constituents of the new committee should comprise men of proven integrity not given to gratification, like previous task forces because; our security and future are at stake.