Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, has slammed Nigerian musicians who glorify drug and substance abuse in their songs.
Marwa lamented how the drug-promoting lyrics from songs have become a buzzword among youths, noting how the young population, on the strength of these songs, have come to see drug abuse as a ‘grand idea of leisure’.
The NDLEA boss who was represented by Dr. Segun Oke said this during the 2nd edition of the Vanguard Mental Health Summit held in Lagos on Thursday with the theme being: ‘Mental Health in a Distressed Economy’.
According to Marwa, drug abuse is a ‘serious’ problem in the country, revealing that 10.6 million Nigerians abuse cannabis.
He stated that the agency has continued to put measures in place to curb the abuse of drugs and substances 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’s issues. For some, it is the grand idea of leisure. It is a buzzword in their everyday life and a motif in popular music. Offhand, 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 commonplace for young people to organise cannabis parties,” he said.
Marwa stressed that 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 welcome and laudable and most importantly, must be decisive and sustained.”