Nigerian musicians who promote drug usage in their songs have come under fire, according to Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Ret.), chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Marwa expressed his regret over how popular drug-related song lyrics have grown among young people, adding that such songs have led them to view drug usage as a grand idea of leisure.
NDLEA chairman, spoke through Dr. Segun Oke, who represented him at the second Vanguard Mental Health Summit, which took place in Lagos on Thursday and themed “Mental Health in a Distressed Economy.”
10.6 million Nigerians smoke cannabis, according to Marwa, who claims that drug addiction is a “serious” issue in the nation.
He said that the organization had kept up its efforts to put policies in place to reduce drug and substance misuse in the nation.
“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 commended the media house for organizing the summit and emphasized how complacency, apathy, and quiet have all led to the surge in drug abuse in the nation.
“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.