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Blind traffickers and the illicit drug menace

The recent news of the NDLEA’s bust of a syndicate of drug-trafficking blind men came as a rude shock to Nigerians. The story was greeted…

The recent news of the NDLEA’s bust of a syndicate of drug-trafficking blind men came as a rude shock to Nigerians. The story was greeted with incredulity because it beats the imagination of the average law-abiding citizen: how on earth could a group of four blind men be able to run a drug trafficking pipeline that connects Lagos to Kano?  

After Adamu Hassan, 40, was arrested in Gwagwalada, Abuja, the trio of Bello Abubakar, 45, Muktar Abubakar, 59, and Akilu Amadu, 25,  were nabbed in Lagos. A fourth member of the blind traffickers’ syndicate who was the de facto chief operating officer of the Kano end of the business, identified as Malam Aminu, is currently at large.  

For those of us who are keen observers of the weekly NDLEA digest of arrests and seizures, this recently unravelled pattern of drug trafficking in Nigeria is further confirmation that drug trafficking was deeply entrenched in society before NDLEA regained its mojo under the retired but not tired Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa. Good enough, the anti-narcotics agency is doing a good job at foiling the various stratagems of drug trafficking syndicates. 

The waves of arrests by NDLEA have provided insight into Nigeria’s illicit drug situation. We have seen a series of arrests of the calibre of people who ordinarily society would not suspect of trafficking in drugs: women, children, religious figures, and people living with disabilities. These latest arrests involving four blind men further bust the bubble. If anything, it is a confirmation that the rot has eaten deep into our society.

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We must appreciate the effort of NDLEA operatives who are putting to shame the criminal ingenuity of drug traffickers. Given the agency’s track record of follow-up arrests, the public expects a complete unravelling of this shocking criminality by the syndicate of blind men in the weeks ahead. 

Having said that, we must not lose sight of the big picture: that we all must rise against this menace of drug trafficking. NDLEA must perform its role effectively, and society, namely you, me, and everybody else must also support the agency to the hilt. Otherwise, we would all end up as secondary victims of drug abuse someday.  

We should remember that our children and wards are all out there in the larger society and if we fail to curb drug trafficking, those young ones may fall into the trap of illicit substances. 

Importantly, the government has a big role to play as well. The good performance of NDLEA should spur the government to provide the agency with the necessary resources to further raise its game.  

With all hands on deck, we can collectively crush the illicit drug menace before it becomes a Frankenstein monster that could devour our society.  

Valentine Ikechukwu writes from Owerri, Imo State.

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