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1.1 Background of the Study
The twin problem of drug trafficking and abuse is a global phenomenon with serious threat to the economic and social existence of any given nation. The continued resistance to solutions has created prostrations to both individuals and the State Government.
Several resources have emerged as to why the drug problem is persistent all over the world. Huge economic benefits derived by the very powerful drug barons in countries such as the United states, and those occupying the so-called “ Golden Triangle” Thailand, Laos, Burma and China, the ruthlessness of the powerfully organized crime syndicates such as the drug cartels found in Italy ,Columbia, Mexico and the United States, the involvement of highly placed persons, continues increase in the population of drugs addicts, lack of effective global strategy in dealing with the problem, corruption in law enforcement agencies, and the politics of interactional drug control have been identified among others as to why the problem remain insistent. (Dambazau, 1995).
Consequent upon the lack of answers to the problem, some countries have resorted to the application of the unorthodox means to curb the magnitude of the drug problem. This may seems to violate international law, such as the invasion of panama in 1988 by the United States where the Panamanian president, Manuel Noriega was forcefully arrested, abducted to the United States, and subsequently convicted and imprisoned for drug offences. Consistent harassment, deliumanisation and embarrassment of passengers at various points of entries due to searches by law enforcement personnel which sometimes involved forceful drug testing are common practice. In some cases, military personnel have been employed for drug interdiction in the United States and Mexico. However, this has been condemned for the fact that more than maximum force has been applied to counter the organized drug syndicates in spite of their sophistication in weapon.
Ronald Regan in 1982 with respect to the magnitude of this problem, maintained that “ the moods towards drugs is changing------ we are making no excuses for drugs -------- drugs are bad and we are going after them. The problem of drugs is very complex with a wide network of organized trafficking syndicates ranging from South East Asia, Caribbean, Central and South America, North West Africa. Over a period of time ,security agents have identified prominent routes in drugs trade. The first originated from Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Equador, and Bolivia, with transshipment points in Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica. El Salvador, and Nicaragua, while the final destination is the United States and Canada, sometimes via Mexico. The predominant drug on this route is cocaine , and the dominant organized crime syndicates are the Cali and Medallin cartels.
The Bahamas main corridor route is next to the Latin American route which originate from the Caribbean, Central and South America, with final destination in the United States. The Bahamas is a major transit country for cocaine and Marijuana entering the United State via the Florida coast. There is also the North African route which originates heroine from Turkey and cocaine from Colombia through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, to Europe. In the South East Asian route methamphetamine hydrohloride popularly known as ice, which originates from the Philippine, Hong Kong and China backed by opium from the Golden triangle and Golden crescent in which Nigeria and Ghana are the main transit countries for onward movement to the United States and Europe.
There are in fact, numerous Nigerian groups trafficking in narcotics. More recently, Thailand has become the most attractive source of South East Asian heroin for Nigerians and other West African nations. Available records from the Interpol has shown that three out every five persons arrested for heroin trafficking in Bankok are Nigerians. This is further buttressed by the numerous US dollar inflows into Thailand by Nigerians which in itself is a clear indication of the significance of the heroin trafficking activities of this group.
Apparently, Lagos remains the focal point in West African heroin network and is identified as the principal secondary redistribution centre, for onward shipment to European and North American markets. The increased supply of south American cocaine to Europe during the 1985-1991 has been exploited by Africans, especially Nigerians. Cocaine for example, is now being increasingly transported by these groups from Soa Paulo in Brazil and La Paz in Bolivia to West African capitals for onward shipment to European destinations. It is important to note that when these drugs smuggled into Nigeria by these criminal groups on transit for the purpose of onward movement to Europe and North America were trapped and thus prevented from being taken out to the European market largely due to the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies at the International airports and other points of entry or exit, Nigeria begin to transform from the status of transiting country to consuming one. However , the result of the outcome of the effectiveness of the Nigerian law enforcement agencies at the international airports in the prevention of the exportation of these drugs to their expected destinations indirectly compelled the Nigerian Trafficking syndicates to source for the market of their products locally. The extent of the success of these groups in the establishment of local market for their products within the country has automatically changed the single status of Nigeria from being a transit country to a double status of being a transit and consuming country where these trapped products are redistributed and sold to consumers within the country (Attah,1991).
The sudden rise in drug related problems in the world and Nigeria in particular could not be attributed to any single factor. Certain reasons can be associated with the occurrence of drug abuse and trafficking which mainly include: Peer Pressure, quest to make quick money, environmental influence, curiosity, parental deprivation, experimentation, advertisement etc. however, the manifestation of the existence of the organized trafficking syndicates found in Latin America, South East Asia, the Bahamas, North and West Arica and the conversion of Nigeria from transit to transit consuming nation indicate the availability of these drugs which serves as another vital factor to the causes of drug abuse and its attendant consequences for Nigeria. Among the causes for drugs abuse earlier mentioned, is the availability of these drugs and where the availability of these drugs and where the availability is absent the causes mentioned ceased to exist because an individual can only abuse drugs where they are available and accessible. this is because there is inter-relation between demand for these drugs and their supply.
The fact that the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies at international airport had compelled the Nigerian organized trafficking syndicates to organized trafficking syndicates to indirectly source for local markets within Nigeria based on the ground that they cannot take their smuggled products (drugs) to Europe and North America, selling and consuming joints, patronized mainly by the youths, sprang up in many areas of our major towns and cities. The prevailing problem associated with Indian hemp addiction expanded by leaps and bounds.(Enehezena, 1992).
To this end, the establishment of the local markets and the expansion of the so called markets which sprang up in many areas of and major cities have contributed immensely in the involvement of youths to drug abuse. The 2006 Drug Data Collection and research by the NDLEA reports that of 1,455 patients on admission for drug related problems across the country. (319 which represent 21% of the total number of patients for the year under review were students mostly representing the youth population). Based on this trend therefore, ,it is clear to conclude that drug abuse and trafficking has invaded the youths, schools children playground, recreational areas and host of other places chikaji and Muchia communities inclusive. This explain the need for this research.(NDLEA, 2006).
Drug abuse and trafficking can uproot the very foundation of any given society, by destroying the economic, social and political base on which the survival of the society depends. Usually, addicts some of who are highly educated and are suffering the side effects of drugs, could lose grip of physical and mental activities and are identified with absenteeism, truancy, and declining productivity. Soon, they abandon or lose their jobs even in their prime ages. The implication to the nation’s workforce is that it becomes impaired and human resources wasted away. The bulk of money spent by government for the procurement of drugs and treatment of addicts at various psychiatric hospitals across the nation could have been used for vital development projects.
Addict themselves are problem themselves. Their inability to look after their families leads to the disintegration of the families. Sometimes, their temperament can lead to violence and attack on innocent citizens and their involvement in crime such as wife battering, rape, burglary, robbery etc threaten the security of life and property. In most cases, reckless driving associated with most of the accident on Nigerian roads are linked to drug abuse.
There is no doubt that drug business is a lucrative one which fetches quick and lots of money to those involved most of all drug barons hide their identity and as well conceal of their source of wealth by fronting a legitimate business which gives them cover and respect within the society. As a result of their wealth exposure and sophistication, they find their way easily in the political process within the society and some extent contest election or sponsored candidates of questionable character and of their like to seek political office where policies and sensitive issues of great concern are being deliberated. This is to ensure that their selfish interest is represented and protected. But where this failed and because of the influence of their wealth, the sponsor political violence in order to disrupt the political process and dislodge the government.
This brings about political instability accompanied by an unending violence resulting to insecurity of life and property. Where they succeed in penetrating into the political system, classified and sensitive information relating to illicit trafficking are disclosed to member of their syndicates with the view to counter government efforts in addressing the social malaise of drug trafficking and its abuse. (U. Amale, 2005). The enormity of the consequences of drug trafficking and abuse cut across all the social institutions Vis - a – vis family, religion, political, economic, educational institutions etc cannot be over emphasized. Thus drug abuse constitute a serious threat to the survival of our youths and the society of large.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of drug abuse pose serious threats to the security of youths in Muchia/Chikaji communities in Kaduna state and Nigeria at large. In the past, communities were safe haven for moral uprightness, transmission of good societal values by elders and the assimilation of these values by the youths. But today, the reverse is the case as law abiding citizens in various Nigerian communities can no larger freely move in their respective communities without harassment, molestation and intimidation. In some cases innocent citizens have not only being injured or maimed but killed through violence associated with drug abuse.
Consequently, citizens in various communities in Nigeria live in fear, they fired it very much unsafe to concentrate on their daily routine activities while freedom of movement is limited as a result of this scourge. Every parent who has a child as children is apprehensive that his or her child could be victim of attack by those involved this menaced called drug abuse.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, there are approximately 700 – 850 Million drug addicts all over the world and judging by the current rate, this figure may be well above 1.8 billion at the end of the century. According to Adejide, (1991)” …… if therefore, youth is the hop of mankind, it is difficult if not impossible to reconcile the present role being played by the youth in this country vis-à-vis the virtues expected of them—!
The drug situation in contemporary Nigerian communities is of national concern as mind – effecting substance of all varieties (hazed, soft stimulants and depressants) are freely peddled and abused. One very disturbing aspect is the increasing numbed of those who are experimenting with a combination of alcohol and drugs. Majority of the youths appeared to have built psychological block that preclude their listening to scientific evidence on the harmful long time effects of narcotics and cannabis.
1.3 Research Questions
The precise objectives mentioned heroine gives rise to the following research questions.
What are the immediate and remote causes of drug addiction in the two communities under study?
What are the commonly drugs of abuse in these communities?
What are efforts made by the communities involved and the relevant agencies like the NDLEA to curtail the problem?
What the extent of youths affected and extent of damage on the respective communities?
What are the nature and kind of threats caused as a result of drug addiction on the communities under study?
What recommendation and solutions can be proffered to curtail the problem associated with drug addiction in the communities under study?
1.4 Aims and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to examine the problem of drug addiction among youth in Nigeria with particular reference to Muchia and Chikaji communities at Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State. This has become necessary so as to understand the general trend, nature and extent of drug abuse problems with a view to recommending workable and implementing workable solutions
The specific objectives are:
1. To ascertain the immediate and remote causes of drug addiction among youths in Muchia and Chikaji communities at Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
2. To identify the types of drugs commonly used in these communities.
3. To evaluate the efforts made by these communities and relevant agencies to curtail the problem.
4. To identity the extent of damage on the affected youths and the communities as well.
5. To identify the nature and type of threats caused as a result drug abuse on the respective communities under study.
6. To proffer recommendations/solutions to curtail the problems of drug abuse on the respective communities under study.
1.5 Scope/Limitation of the Study
The study intended to examine the rationale behind drug addiction among youths in Muchia and Chikaji communities at Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State being the case study of this research. It will also cover the period from 2005 to 2015 and to also examine the causes, trend, level of drug abuse and the implication for the two communities under study.
The study was constrained by the inability to embark on extensive field work to interact with a larger number of stake holders as well as scholars and professionals on the subject mater owning to the availability of time and financial constraints. Another major limitation is the level of secrecy involved in discussing the problems of drug abuse. A lot of information were not obtained due to the fear of opening up to the researcher.
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