It was while I was in Abuja that I lost my innocence about the consumption of Indian hemp in Nigeria. I lived in a neighborhood that was just coming up. It was basically a huge construction site and the completed buildings were all new, most of them unoccupied except for the ‘mai guard.’
Going further inside the area beyond the foundations are bushes waiting to be cleared. Every evening, I noticed expensive cars heading towards that direction. Every day, the same cars.
It got me wondering. It wasn’t as if they were going there to inspect their building projects.
By now you would have guessed correctly that the men needed the relative privacy of that ‘bushy’ area to smoke their Indian hemp in peace.
Almost all of them were top civil servants, businessmen or contractors. A neighbor who knew about what was going on gave me the low down about these men.
It was a big shock to me because I’d always thought only adventurous young men, miscreants and criminals smoked it.
I have since found out that a large swathe of the population indulges in it. Most times, just for leisure. Heck, many people even use it to cook all kinds of foods.
In other words, the consumption of Indian in Nigeria is an open secret. But it is a criminal act.
Indian hemp, also known as Cannabis, goes by different names in Nigeria. What it’s called largely depends on the location of the country.
You can hear names like igbo, kanya, weed, wee-wee, and so on. Internationally, it is known as Cannabis, marijuana or Indian hemp.
The harmful effects of the drug are well known. As a matter of fact, Indian hemp is one drug whose effect on both the physical and mental state of users is most known compared to other drugs. That could be because of how common and how easy it is to get them.
On the flip side of the coin, many of those who use it claim the benefits of using or smoking it outweigh the harm it could cause by a long shot.
The legendary Afrobeat musician, Fela, was one of the most famous protagonists of marijuana. He smoked it openly in his club when he was alive. He claimed it was good for his medical condition.
The agitation for the decriminalization of marijuana is always linked to its curative functions of certain medical conditions in humans.
In some states in America where the use of Cannabis has been decriminalized, the health concerns have been the overriding reason for doing so.
In the city of Amsterdam in Holland, you can go into a shop and buy it without anybody raising an eyebrow. It was decriminalized a long time ago.
Whole countries like Uruguay, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, and Estonia among others have either relaxed the law against the use of the drug or outrightly made it legal.
In July, Canada hopes to join the league of countries where the use of Indian hemp doesn’t come with the likelihood of ending up in jail if you are caught.
The moralists in Nigeria, and there are many of them, use any opportunity to remind the rest of us that one of the dangers of decriminalization would be the rising crime levels.
Apparently, smoking marijuana would increase the number of criminals in the country. Other social problems, according to them, include more drug addicts.
We all know several weed smokers are neither drug addicts nor criminals. The logic of the moralist implies that these users would suddenly become criminals if marijuana becomes legal in Nigeria.
To them, it doesn’t fly against the face of logic that many abused drugs in Nigeria are legal. But many users are not criminals.
Or using the case of Fela, he was never a criminal. Instead, he was one of the foremost human rights activists the country ever had.
Between the 1920s and early 1930s, America banned the use, sale, and transportation of alcohol. The so-called Prohibition law was enacted to safeguard the morals of the American people.
That ban saw an unprecedented rise in criminal activities in the US. It was one of the bloodiest periods in the country as criminal gangs fought to control the alcohol black market due to the scarcity of the product.
Naturally, when Prohibition ended after almost a decade, gang-related violence linked to control of alcohol trafficking disappeared because there was no money to be made from producing and selling alcohol.
This is what happens when a group of people make laws based on their religious convictions. It never ends well.
Nigeria News notes that In Nigeria today, the sale and distribution of marijuana are controlled by gangs. Turf wars are fought by gangs, also known as cultists, to control the sale in certain areas.
The security services, including the army, benefit from the activities of these gangs. Some are paid to look the other way. Some gangs even use military men or the police to help them transport their products across the country.
It is a huge industry where hundreds of millions are made daily around the country.
Let’s face it, people become criminals or commit crimes because it is in their nature or circumstances pushed them.
The politicians, men of God, lawyers, judges, civil servants who steal on a grand scale didn’t need drugs like marijuana to get them going. They saw an opportunity to steal and they took it.
Yes, legalizing the drug would see an increase in its usage. But like the experiences in other countries have shown, there wasn’t a spike in criminal activities as a result.
So why would Nigeria’s case be different if it’s legalized here. Or are the moralists saying Nigerians are different? That sounds like the kind of argument racists push forward to keep blacks down.
Okay, so I have smoked marijuana before. Not once, not twice, several times. I liked it even though it messed me up a couple of times.
I still don’t understand why I didn’t become an addict or a criminal. At least, that is what those moralists said would happen if people like me smoked it.
The reason I stopped: it’s just not in my nature to need a constant high from substances like marijuana or alcohol. There are millions of people like that in Nigeria.
Loom: Why You Need to be Scare of Loom Ponzi Scheme in Nigeria
Nigerians all over the country have began to sign of for Loom, a ponzi scheme which started to make waves barely a month ago. However, Nigerians’ participation in the ponzi scheme isn’t so much of a surprise as much as the fact that the Nigerian public are yet to learn from the heartbreaks they have suffered in the past through ponzi scheme. It is even more surprising that this is coming after just years that the popular Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox crashed with a millions of naira lost and wasted.
Nigerians are starting to flood towards Loom, another scheme that promises astonishing returns on investment.
MMM penetrated the Nigerian market in 2015 with over 2 million people signing up for the scheme by the time it crashed in December 2016.
Despite the loss of billions to that scheme and many of its ilk, Loom Money Nigeria is starting to gain widespread following among Nigeria’s online community.
Loom is a peer-to-peer pyramid scheme which involves people being invited to invest as little as N1000, or N2000, or N13,000 and get as much as eight times its value within a short period of time.
The Loom pyramid is grouped into four colour-coded levels – purple, blue, orange and red. Whoever is the first to sign up for the group sits in the red level, which is the central level, and gets the payout when the group fills up.
Two people sit in the orange level, while four investors fill the blue level. The purple level takes new entrants with eight spots open.
Once the eight spots in the purple level are filled, the group splits into top half and bottom half as the investors in the outer levels move into new levels.
The new groups of seven investors each then have to recruit eight new investors to once again break the circles into another two groups.
Investors are typically invited to join a WhatsApp group and advised to get as many other investors as possible because the scheme only works if it keeps a steady stream of new investors to pay earlier investors.
The more people are recruited into the group, the quicker it breaks and the quicker the payouts are to investors. The initial investment is usually paid to the group admin who sits in the red level.
When investors start to dry up, groups will take longer to fill up, and newer recruits will lose their investment without any payouts. This will only be averted if there’s an unending supply of new investors, an impossible feat.
Over the years, the Nigerian government has issued several warnings to Nigerians to stay away from investing in Ponzi schemes that involve unregistered investments, unlicensed sellers, secretive and complex strategies.
Loom Money Nigeria only works now because earlier investors are being paid with investments acquired from the recent ones. Once that system slows down, Nigerians are simply left with a looming disaster.
Dangote Laments On Increase In Poverty In Northern Part Of Nigeria
Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa and currently ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 100th richest in the world, open up to the northern state Governors on how they’ve constituted in the increase of poverty in the northern part of Nigeria. He further stated that despite the northerners has been the one most involved in agricultural practices, poverty extremely ravages over 60 percent of the northerners, according to the info gotten by the NIGERIA NEWS.
It is truthfully that the northerners constituted the highest part of the Nigeria population and they were found to be the most backward part of Nigeria. Aliko Dangote further expressed in a statement recapped below:
“Nigeria is ranked at 157th out of 189 countries on the human development index. While the overall socio-economic condition in the country is a cause for concern, the regional disparities are in fact very alarming. In the North Western and North Eastern parts of Nigeria, more than 60 per cent of the population lives in extreme poverty.
“It is instructive to know that the 19 Northern states which account for over 54 per cent of Nigeria’s population and 70 per cent of its landmass, collectively generate, only 21 per cent of the total subnational IGR in the year 2017. Northern Nigeria will continue to fall behind if the respective states governments do not move to close the development gap.
“And that is why we are always saying the biggest challenge that we have and what we have been praying for is to have 10 governors like Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to move northern Nigeria forward. Closing the gap requires multi years investment and the government will not be able to raise the required capital funding, only the private sector can raise the capital to fund the level of investment that this country needs.”
The Governors in the northern part of the country should find something to do about the issue of poverty in the northern part of the country as the Federal Government cannot only fund it.
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