The Filthy World of Nigeria’s Druglords

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One of it’s debilitating manifestation is the recent killing in Ozubulu, Anambra State. The government alone cannot solve the problems of drug trade. Parents and religious leaders must be involved.

Most parents no longer ask their children how they got their wealth, because indirectly they pushed them to it. Our religious leaders won’t stop blessing them, because of the inherent largesse in doing so. The church killing is a perfect example but believe me, it’s just the beginning.

In the late 80s and up to late 90s, while we were in our formative years, we had our own share of societal influence. This influence had impacts over our values, thoughts, decision and perception. Our general overview on life were greatly shaped by what we saw, heard and related with every day.

Two major influence that exerted great impacts on us were music and film. Those days, I loved listening to gists. I loved following trends. I listened to latest music and watched films. That period was when Nigeria’s hip hop artistes started making waves. Although, they were not so popular like what obtains nowadays, but they were quite prominent. Plantashion Boyz (where Tu Face emerged), Daddy Shokey, Baba Fryo and other were still struggling for survival; unlike Boyz II Men, Tupac, Notorious BIG, Tony Braxton and other foreign musicians, who were so popular among many Nigerian youths.

One thing you cannot take away from me is my love for originality. This made local musicians and film artists look more attractive to me.

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In those days, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, Abbas Akande Obesere, Adewale Ayuba, Sir Shina Peters and a host of others were the rave of the moment.

Then, we were so obsessed with their performances on stage. Everybody craved being mentioned in the social circle by these musicians. Immediately they were mentioned, they became so popular among the socialites, businessmen, corporate bodies, big girls and students.

I remember those periods with great and mixed nostalgia. You cannot claim to be current, until you know Tulampa (Tula Mania Oko Yetunde of London), Ade Bendel, Salawe Sati Ramoni, Tunde Oginni (Oginni mi Allen), Rotimi Ogedengbe(Ewolewo, O ya bara), Ajala Basiru, Bolaji Basia, Segun Alawaye, Siliki, Lanre Shittu and other criminals and Druglords. They were praised to high heavens by musicians and clerics.

No thanks to Wasiu Ayinde, Obesere, Shina and co.
Lyrics like:
Ade Bendel mi oooo, ololo ooo. Oko Yinka, ololooo! Kinni to loo bummi nkoooo, ab’o ni bunmi mo, o saanu o bunmi….

He praised him to the extent that some of us felt like being like him. Then, secretly, Ade Bendel was my role model. I loved everything about the young Edo man, especially his criminal exploits in drug peddling. The day I heard Ade Bendel bought Lexus and Buick! Oh my God! I felt like turning myself into one of ‘his boys’!

Maurice Ibekwe, who later became a member of the Federal House of Representatives, was another criminal I loved so dearly. You know why? The way Wasiu sang his praises in his record was just captivating: E je ka re’le Maurice, Ibekwe! Ogenne Maurice na nu Nkechi, Odinma….

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Bolaji mi Basia mi, Basia mi oo. Oko Abukki mi, Abukki mi oo. Baba alaye t’o se gogo mi, se gogo mi oo. Bolaji mi Basia miiii oooo! Pali pali l’owo mi l’odo Basia ooo. Kii nawo e le’yo l’eyo…Do you even know the meaning of the last part of the rhythm? It means: “Bolaji Basia doesn’t spray me in piecemeal. He sprays me in bundles and bales! And true to it, he sprayed in packs, bundles and bales!

Did you remember what killed Tunde Tulampa? He had a ghastly accident, while rushing home from one of Wasiu’s life performances, in a bid to bringing more money from home to spray. Hmmm…Awa l’awo ti Tula Mania Oko Yetunde of London, gba’bi ma gbabe, gbabe ma gbabi.

How many will I count? Those fraudsters and drug pushers are just too numerous. Lagos Island is the hotspot of drug deal in Nigeria. Lagos Island is a transit point from Asia and South America to Europe and America. Ghana, Republic of Benin and Ivory Coast are their drug routes. Island boys know the route more than the nationals residing in those countries.

They are in active criminal conspiracy with Customs and Immigration officers. You can never track them. It is a cartel you cannot break easily. They are just too sophisticated to be nabbed. They travel to Europe like we travel on a daily interstate basis. Airport and bank officials are not left out in this long chain of criminality.

Those who carry for those big men are the couriers. You carry on an agreed term. You must follow instructions religiously. And if you’re caught, you’re on your own. It is between life and death. You succeed, you’re rich. You fail, you’re doomed. No one cares what happens to you.

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They make millions in foreign currencies and billions in naira. The youths are marveled and impressed with their filthy and lush lifestyles. They buy posh cars to oppress. They spend lavishly on alcohol and prostitutes. They live ostentatiously to the admiration of the willing-to-join youths. You must ‘belong’ before you can be integrated into the system. You cannot decipher some codes, if you are not ‘among’.

Many lives have been lost through the illicit trade. Many youths are serving endless terms in foreign prisons. Many are languishing in pains and regrets in incarceration.

One of it’s debilitating manifestation is the recent killing in Ozubulu, Anambra State. The government alone cannot solve the problems of drug trade. Parents and religious leaders must be involved. Most parents no longer ask their children how they got their wealth, because indirectly they pushed them to it. Our religious leaders won’t stop blessing them, because of the inherent largesse in doing so.

The church killing is a perfect example but believe me, it’s just the beginning.

By Adejare Ibrahim, a social commentator writes from Oyo state.

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