In the first part of this article, I’d examined how individual’s choices determine what eventually befalls them, questioning why some people get louder and more heroic celebration in death instead of deserving acknowledgments while alive.
In this edition, still musing on Mohbad, I’ll be examining one among the factors that contributed to the tragic ending of that young star, his case been used as representative of many others that have not been lucky to make the news.
The role of drug abuse in sad incidences that befell the Late Okikiola Aloba is not in contention. From the trenches, to his meeting Naira Marley, to the various relationships he had during his time at the Marlian records and to his death, the mention of drugs has never been elusive.
This particular contribution is not to blame the deceased or anyone affected by drugs, it’s an attempt to assess how this practice that has now become a staple among youths is ‘killing us’, to examine why the disturbing trend and its spread should be a serious source of concern and also to give a few suggestions (in the next edition) as to how the situation can be brought under control, preventing further escalation.
Naturally, Drugs is not harmful to human beings, rather it’s a blessing. This same blessing becomes a ‘curse’ to individual’s health, a danger to other people around and a lurking havoc to the general society when it is abused- that is, used against medical prescription.
As a teetotaler and substance abstinent, I cannot claim to know the feelings or benefits that people who indulge in substance abuse derive from it. But I have seen a few cases that make me know that drugs abuse does no one any good.
On one of my few trips to Lagos sometime ago, I was in a bus with a young guy. Light skinned, cool and calm, he’s a young guy that one would find admirable. Normally anytime I travel to Lagos, I usually mind my business, so that I don’t fall victim of those sharp smart Lagos urchins. But I could not resist commencing a discussion with this guy. Why? I observed he felt too quiet. Though he was struggling to look composed, it was palpably obvious that he was disturbed. In spite of all my efforts to commence a discussion with him, he didn’t respond. Rather, he gestured a need to be distant, not minding that he was sitting next to me.
At intervals, his phone was ringing. I observed he either muted the calls or end them. On few occasions that he picked the calls, he only either placed it beside his ears, not saying anything or he just uttered – send message, in low tone, and wobbly speech too. It was when I heard his voice that I established it was some substance that was overworking in his system. I became curious, and for the first and only time in all of my visits to Lagos, I didn’t mind my own business; I showed too much of interest in another man’s business. I developed the agus eyes (prying around for clues as to why the guy was too quiet) and I was able to see some threads from his SMS chats- one from his mother and another from a lady, likely his girlfriend. One thing is common to the two threads, they are looking for him, wanting him back. I can’t remember any of his responses, but I was able to confirm that those two people were agitated about his whereabouts and what’s happening to him.
At another time, while traveling from Ado Ekiti in Ekiti State to Akure, Ondo State capital, a young man jumped into the road, seemingly oblivious of the vehicles coming from both directions of the road. He pick a wooden object and started brandishing it, making people to scamper for safety. Meanwhile, some young guys were running after him, with the intention to overpower him and bring him under control. Women of different ages manned the sides of the road, with various emotions on their faces. Typical of the Yoruba setting, you’ll hear such exclamations like IKUNLE ABIYAMO O! While ruminating on what made such a young handsome guy to loose control of his mind and display such manners in the public, I heard a loud bang on the side glass of the commercial vehicle I’d boarded- the handiwork of the berserk guy. Luckily for me, I was sitting two seats from the door. Shatters of the glasses were on everyone; the lady sitting next to the door was not so lucky, bruises and bloodstains from the piercing of the broken glasses were found on her body. It was a gory experience- all on drugs abuse.
We’ve had several viral videos of what drugs have made of the lives of our youths- future of our blessed country. Research shows that we now have more young mad boys and girls roaming the streets than older people. And the number of mad young people nowadays is unprecedented in the history of existence. Also due to drugs, there has been terrible increase in the cases of mentally challenged young people registered in various psychiatric facilities in Nigeria and abroad. Equally worrisome is the increase in number of young people in various custodial centers globally as a result of their involvements in drug-related crimes and commission of other crimes under the influence of drugs. What about the increase in violent behaviours and asocial conducts like rape, street/gang fighting, cultism, suicide, gambling and many more that add to the hopelessness of the lives of the youth-fold? Do we talk about failed marriages as a result of drugs abuse, or joblessness caused by substance abuse or even failed businesses? Are we not now having increase in school drop outs like never before as a result of drugs and activities relating to drugs abuse? What about the bad reputation given to our country in the global space as a result of various degrees of dealings in drugs? Does drugs abuse do any society or any individual any good? Definitely, a capital NO is the answer!
It is necessary to note that this scourge doesn’t just befall us. It’s caused by some factors among which are peer pressure influence, parental neglect/bad parenting, poor social standards, loss of cultural values, bad government and irresponsive/irresponsible government agencies, effects of poverty, the roles of the various media, effects from our continually declining educational standards. For the sake of space, because I won’t want unnecessarily long articles that could bore readers, I would like to purse here, seeking indulgence to these factors in the next edition of this ‘Musings Round Mohbad’.
Part 3 & more underway
Olamisoji writes from Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of Precision Online Newspaper.