There is an insightful article for those interested in governance by Taiwo Makinde titled Problems of Policy Implementation in Developing Nations: The Nigerian Experience. In the paper, the Makinde explains quite persuasively why policy implementation in Nigeria routinely fails with successive governments. He implicates, among other factors, a lack of continuity of policy implementation from a preceding government to a succeeding e.g. from Presidents Babangida to Abacha [or Jonathan to Buhari]. Ego [of the leader] is the reason he provides for this. The logic is simple, it is better for the current president to sabotage the good works of a predecessor and initiate his own that will place his mention high on the lips of posterity. This holds true for all forms of organisation in Nigeria. The great exception is President Muhammad Buhari and for unusual reasons; blamocracy [and claimocracy]. Continue reading
I reject the claim the article titled Gowon and Babangida Created Nigeria’s Drug Culture, which I wrote is guilty of appropriating unnecessary blame to Gowon and Babangida wrongfully or misleading readers about the creation of the drug culture in Nigeria. In the first paragraph I made it clear that some will disagree with the content. There is a big distinction between the “drug culture” and “drug trafficking” in Nigeria; the former is local Nigerian addictive drug use and the latter concerns Nigeria as an “entrepôt” for international drug trafficking. Even if some assume they are the same thing, let us look at the Gowon and Babangida regimes and their impact on drug access more carefully and see where the blame for Nigeria’s drug culture lies. Continue reading
It is certain that “access to drugs” policies have been mostly responsible for either a rise or decline in the demography of drug addicts in Nigeria. A controversial thing the Obasanjo military government did in 1976/77 was to progressively ban many goods [including controlled substances] into Nigeria to curb the wanton and wasteful “Import or Die” phenomenon triggered by the unexpected “Oil Boom” years governed by General Gowon. The first experience of a drug culture in Nigeria, though very limited and short, was a creature of the frenzy of Oil Boom importation. Some will argue the ban’s impact on drug use was inadvertent or even nonexistent. Nigerians then did not have to escape reality though; life was good and masses sought conspicuous consumption and luxury. When the ban on imported goods came into effect the drug abuse phenomenon faded like a fad but created smuggling boom in which smugglers found Veblen goods like lace and refined stills far more profitable. It is ironic that the viral drug problem of today’s Nigeria is fuelled by poverty, the demands of socio-economic survival and very harsh realities. The recent ban of codeine-based cough syrup by the Buhari administration after the BBC’s damning expose, Sweet Sweet Codeine will have nothing like the impact of the ban put in place by Obasanjo in 1970s. The present drug problem has now reached a high point after a long surreptitious build up; all presidents since Babangida reportedly created the Nigerian Narcostate have allowed the problem to fester. I will share my witness. Continue reading
According to a competent and concerned eyewitness Ejorheya Brighoademo, a governance professional and works in the tourism and entertainment industry in Sapele, the incidence of drug addiction is conservatively 50% of the entire teenage population of the town! That is a whole generation afflicted with a destructive scourge. Incredible! How did Sapele, a major town in Delta State, Nigeria give into the drugs scourge?
A SMALL HISTORY
In the 1970s Sapele had a thriving port, was home to African Timber & Plywood – the largest timber exporting firm in the world, had a large flour mill, a number of good schools, several well-sized employers and the state support services required by a densely populated big town. Everyone tried to shop at Kingsway Stores. Sapele was also home to two notorious slums [Ugwanja and Urban Area] despite the semblance of a prosperous town. The economy of Sapele has since declined, unemployment rates are high and an alarming drug addiction epidemic among the youth of the town threatens to get worse by the day. Continue reading
President Buhari like many past Nigerian heads of state are living proof of why slavery flourished along the coast of West Africa a few centuries ago. While the Europeans, Americans and others sought their youth to build the edifices that have come to symbolise civilisation and world power, many African kings never had any use for their proliferating population of youths. Today is no different. Diaspora is the dreamland of the Nigerian youth. Under Buhari’s administration, the incentive for the Nigerian youth to go overseas for a better life has never been greater because lack of opportunities that stare them in the face. If leaders have no respect or value for their youth, who will?
It is the height of laziness for a national leader to have no constructive use for a youth. It is why people deal with negative racism daily as a rule, slavery. When African leaders start to have good use for their youth, Africans may just become more than honorary human beings to other races.