Kano: Unending war against codeine abuse

Examining the effect of the recent ban on codeine substance by the federal government, BASHIR MOHAMMED posits that in Kano state, known as a hotbed of illicit drugs trade, it is war without end, with the addicts, dealers and barons fighting back.

Codeine conjures emotional frenzy Mentioning the substance Codeine in Kano, makes one to react with trepidation and high degree of emotional frenzy, knowing that the youths consuming such a substance are at the risk of losing their emotional conscience and mental faculty, as its perpetual consumption, makes them to become die-hard addicts. For the youths consuming such intoxicating substance appeared to consider the illicit practice as a way of refreshing their hearts and memories whenever they want to get high, forgetting the fact that what they are doing is detested by the society, and damning the consequences of misuse of drugs is equally detrimental to their lives.

Is it codeine abuse war without end now? In Kano, Codeine consumers have almost erected huge frontiers of communication, where they often meet and share their individual experience, frequenting recreational centres, putting heads together on ways to make their abominable practice thick with some of the notorious kingpins leading the crusade, trafficking the substance at local level with reckless abandon. Persistent onslaught by NDLEA against addicts With the illicit consumption of Codeine becoming a vogue in almost all the nooks and crannies of Kano despite persistent onslaught being carried out by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Kano and the Police at some points, such consumers craftily invented a trick to deceive the public, they now pour the substance into bottles of soft drinks and start drinking it in broad day light, as if it is a normal drink. Encounter with two female codeine addicts

This reporter once had a wonderful encounter with two female Codeine addicts, whose charming feminist disposition and beauty would make one to disbelieve that they are die-hard Codeine addicts.

Till the time they spoke to him in a calm and unruffled manner, saying what they are doing is part of enjoying their lives and considered drinking Codeine as the best way to do that. When this reporter sought to know what really motivated them into consuming Codeine substance, they unanimously concurred that they were pushed into the practice by bad friends who had been in the practice for quite a long time positing that it would not be easy for them to either repent or renounce the practice in a jiffy for the leisure they are deriving. House wives find lucrative business?

They also informed our reporter that despite the ban on Codeine importation into the country by the federal government, they are still able to access the substance by patronizing local hawkers, confirming that Codeine could even be found in the custody of house wives, making brisk business.

However, the ban on Codeine importation in the country, could be viewed as fulfilment of the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari, at a town hall meeting he held with prominent citizens of Kano, where Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje- led the fight against drug abuse, calling on the federal government to take a swift action to curb the menace. Importing hard and illicit drugs At the town meeting, it was also the contention of stakeholders that the federal government is at liberty to use its diplomatic leverage on prevailing on sister African nations within the ECOWAS sub-region to block all clandestine routes of importing hard and illicit drugs into countries like Nigeria, where the excessive consumption of such hard and dangerous drugs are had almost become a recurring decimal.

It was however the contention of stakeholders at the meeting that consuming illicit and dangerous drugs often breeds all forms of terrorism and acts of criminal banditry such as armed robbery and kidnapping pointing out that forging such a diplomatic collaboration would serve as a major catalyst in stemming the disturbing tide. It was also Governor Ganduje’s view that the menace of drug abuse and excessive consumption of illicit substance, could be drastically reduced if not completely exterminated, through the introduction of various empowerment schemes in order to keep the army of unemployed youths away from being idle. Therefore, it was as a result of such a persuasion that the ever resilient governor initiated various vocational skills acquisition programmes which involved tens of thousands of men and women, most especially young school leavers and even university graduates, who were also trained on entrepreneurial skills, in order to become self-reliant. Ganduje’s vocational and skills training scheme for youths The governor had discernibly demonstrated his unalloyed commitment to sustaining the tempo by injecting a huge amount of money into the scheme of training the youths to become vocationally oriented and embrace the skills of creating avenues of self- employment at the time when opportunities for white collar jobs is becoming a pipe dream.

However the issue of fighting Codeine syndrome in Kano had elicited a discordant tunes among society elders, pundits and opinion leaders, who almost cast aspersion on the resolve of the federal government to call the bluff of notable drug barons, who dared the federal government anytime the issue of illicit and dangerous drugs importation into the country is mentioned. Way out of misuse of codeine, allied substances In the words of a renowned Islamic scholar in Kano, Ustaz Sulieman Salihu Koki, the menace of drug abuse in the country, could only be nipped in the bud if the federal government takes a punitive action against anyone found to be neck deep in the business of trafficking hard and dangerous drugs into the country, no matter his or her status, adding that it is also a burden of proof on the shoulders of security operatives manning the nation’s boarders to buckle up.

Security agents must track promoters of illicit drugs He wondered why the security agents should always relax on trailing the movement of kingpins promoting the business of drug trafficking to high heavens stressing that it is high time for the federal government to launch the man-hunt of bad eggs spoiling the good image of the country by shirking their responsibility for pecuniary considerations. He said “people are almost fade up with the usual rhetorics coming from the government, when it comes to the issue of fighting drug abuse in the country.

The identity of notable drug barons is never difficult to be established, the government is tacitly creating the impression that some people are almost above the law in the country , government should dispel such impression”. Tell ourselves the bitter truth and stop playing the ostrich “When you see some criminals flouting the laws of the land with impunity, they have their godfathers and accomplices at the top echelon of government.

The government if sincere to tackle hard drugs trade, has the capacity to confront the menace without anyone constituting a cog in the fight, we should tell ourselves the bitter truth and stop playing the ostrich,” he added. “In the case of Kano, the governor is at liberty to check the excesses of those sabotaging his effort to fighting the menace of drug abuse in Kano there is the need for the establishment of mobile courts in Kano for those consuming hard and dangerous drugs and their suppliers to be severely punished once the governor set a good example in this direction, even the Codeine consumption could be checkmated” he stressed”.

Looking at the rate of Codeine consumption in Kano as it is becoming rampant among youths most especially the beautiful damsels, observers are quick to stressed that there should be no safe haven for those taking to drug abuse with impunity and damning the repercussions, and continue to constitute a serious nuisance and danger to the society.

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