By Emmanuel Adeleke
The chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd) has criticised Nigerian artistes who promote the abuse of drugs and substances in their songs.
Marwa spoke in Lagos at the second edition of the Vanguard Mental Health Summit, tagged, ‘Mental Health in a Distressed Economy,’ on Thursday.
He decried how the drug-promoting lyrics from songs have become a buzzword among youths, noting that the young population, on the strength of these songs, have come to see drug abuse as a grand idea of leisure.
Marwa, who was represented by Dr. Segun Oke, said drug abuse is a serious problem in the country, adding that 10.6 million Nigerians abuse cannabis.
The NDLEA boss explained that the agency has continued to put measures in place to curb drugs and substances abuse in the country.
“The high syndrome is so entrenched among young people it has become a sort of self-prescription therapy for dealing with some of life issues.
“For some, it is the grand idea of leisure. It is a buzzword in their everyday life and a motif in popular music. Off hand, I can give you three quick examples of hit songs that glorify the abuse of psychoactive substances in the name of getting high.
“I just want to be high, I need Igbo and Shayo, sometimes food no dey give man joy, but Canadian loud, the feeling is different.’
“These street anthems motivate young people to abuse alcohol, cannabis and other illicit substances. It is now common place for young people to organise cannabis parties,” he said.
Marwa commended Vanguard Newspapers for putting together the summit, emphasising how silence, passivity and complacency have contributed to the rise in the level of drug abuse in the country.
“Our silence, passivity and complacency in the past is what led us to where we are today. That is why every effort to now salvage the situation, including this summit, is welcomed and laudable and most importantly, must be decisive and sustained,” he added.