The Castration of Drug Enforcement Under Democracy: An Insider’s View

The 2019 elections have come and gone, and has produced its victors and losers no matter how illegitimate the ballot was. Many issues that plague Nigeria severely were not even discussed in the campaign season. Dividends of democracy? What was discussed was patrimonial-manias in the shape of the obtuse mantras of “only X can save Nigeria”; good luck to the promoters. The unresolved issue of interest here is the raging drug problem that is ruining an entire generation of Nigerian youths and severely embarrassed the Buhari government through a BBC expose titled “Sweet Sweet Codeine.” As the drug problem has been largely unresolved, the government is going to be embarrassed again in the near future. One may ask, where is the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in all of this? One should perhaps more importantly ask what roles the presidency and national legislators playing in drug enforcement?

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Sapele’s Alarming Youth Drug Addiction Epidemic.

One must seriously wonder what happened to a once genial and hope-filled town called Sapele. It was a youths’ town and youngsters were filled with promise and bright futures. Well… 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.

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