Criminals labour room


By Abdulsalam Kamaldeen Muhammed

I became inquisitive to per blink of an eye disrespect of human life on Nigerians. So that took me to talk session with a psychiatry expert of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Prof. Moses David Audu – who told me “no amount of shootings and military hardware can end criminals, infact no amount of aggressiveness can win the war”

It became obvious how mesmerized and overwhelmed I became, so he had me reminisced a little to affirm his claim. Truly, there are prevailing evidences through our home windows (for security consciousness) that criminality perpetrators have no age limit – even innocence of children (teenagers) is lost to crime. Very saddening!
And the aftermath always sung, unknown gunmen, unidentified terrorist, yet more inhumane terror on our lives. Wait, is Prof. a God?

In my neighborhood – Yanshanu on Plateau, every day is double curiousity for me, one in the morning (dawn to be precise) at sight of one after the other retiring from the riverside (Lamboo in Hausa) of teens and some slightly off teenager walking in a stupor manners, wearing faces to scare off people, yet guilt in their eyes. The other curiosity is at dusk, when they troop in groups and only dangerous faces are spotted. This is a routine.
After several questions were asked, it was recovered that they[junkies] come to the neighborhood after government aggressive measures attacked their previous joint due to cases registered of criminality, then my neighborhood harbors them – as several efforts to apprehend them by multi – task force (Neighborhood Watch, NDLEA) is to no avail.
Out of the blue, every car owner in my neighborhood takes their car battery to sleep every night and put them back in the morning. It’s due to an unfortunate incident that happened, one night over twenty cars parked in the neighborhood open space as usual, but some of the batteries were stolen before the day break — this was very unfortunate for Baba Alhaji “I had to use my children’s school fees to buy a new car battery, at least I can’t be sitting idle at home, I am a commercial motorist. But the saddening part is I owed 2 terms before now. I was supposed to pay off the debt that day.”

Truly, cars are parked at owner’s risk. But should it be made recollected in such manner? Now, every mouth in my neighborhood is saying ‘these yara masu shaye- shaye ne (drug addicts), are we safe with them?’ That was theft – which might graduate to armed robbery depending on degree of greed and intoxication. That’s drug for you.

Recently, evidence from the Punch Newspaper has it that the story of lynched sound engineer in Lekki on May 12, 2022 over a scuffle with Okada man was registered under the influence of drug. Similarly in some media report, Deborah’s blasphemy case, in the mob were invited thugs and bad guys, what do they do – drug!
The above rhetoric affirms Prof. Audu’s statement during our talk session that most of the drug users become temperamental, restless and anxious. Gospel speaking, every terror currently ravaging our community in Nigeria ranging from passive violence (low tension) and active violence (high tension) are majorly morale – powered by drugs.

Futher in our session, Prof. Audu revealed that; WHO projected Third World stats of drug abuse will increase by 40% “you will be surprise as to when you visit most of our so called jungles where you find these cult guys and other gangs. Everywhere is just ruminant of smokes, injections, even cocaine and other local stuffs.”
Scarier of his narrative was “sometimes back…I think it was Sallah day, in the daylight around 4pm, I was at my mechanic’s suddenly there was sporadic shooting and everywhere just upside down, but could you believe it was cult members that alighted from Keke NAPEP (tricycle) and shot who they wanted to kill. You need to see the confidence in them, not people trying to operate in a hurry to avoid arrest, but confidently. And on the university campus radio, I have been mentioning this cult doings and drug based on my finding after several visits to their hood. But nobody is listening.”

Unfortunately, my experience at the riverside of my neighborhood confirms Prof.’s assertion. When I visited the Lamboo (riverside) on several occasions, I saw nothing but junkies – no one wearing teen’s face as per their age, morale music everywhere and celebration mood.
So, I concur to what Prof. Audu pinned that, it is social interaction that fuel them “basically, it’s social interaction that facilitates people into doing drugs. Sometime, emotions like neglect, depression, also it occurs to be pleasure, curiosity for others.”
But, do not omit the vital, drug users want to get high, very scary is experimental volume of that highness. Later, they tend to exhibit ugly acts and by cultivative theory, it will eventually stamp as their character someday either in stupor or sober.

Since the Nigeria government could not afford to use all its assets to build rehabs and psychiatries, it supposed, it strengthened the agency for drugs, but Prof. disagreed to its methods as only ‘prosecution and persecution’ through arrest and other penalties.

Prof. instead called for multiplicity approaches to engage and make addicts recuperated and reintegrated “using drugs is not cool, let’s make being healthy the new high – I mean determine folks interest in drugs, then you solve them through good engagements like exercise, eating fruits, listening to music, being athlete etc.

“Paying more attention to the emotional needs at school and the family level. And building life skills in people, so also, priority is tent with a healthy environment – drug vendors having close proximity to our schools is dangerous, culture allowing drug use – alcohol etc. without regulation is a huge mistake.

“Lastly, stakeholders need to do some critical thinking to design some multiplicity approaches.” And it should be our watch the 3rd Law of Motion prove of ‘opposite and equal reaction;’ when the wrong approach is used in fighting the drug war, then wrong result(s) would be achieved in same force capacity as it’s fought.

But Prof. Audu insisted that multiplicity measures is the only answer, if not the military forces will seemed overwhelming “no amount of shooting can end criminals when the environment is not rid of drugs presence.”

Now, it seems the sovereign state Nigeria is breeding armies of criminals unawared with the ravaging insecurity situation – and at least our homes’ windows are the safest place for now. And it seems, it’s the misleading of drugs fight not Prof. being God!

Muhammad is a 400 level Mass Communication student, Bayero University Kano