In Lagos, the proliferation of hard drugs is on the high with young minds, particularly girls being robbed of their brilliant future. In this report, WikkiTimes’ YAKUBU MOHAMMED documents how young girls abusing weedy substances like ‘Loud, Ice and Pawpaw’, become drug-induced sexual addicts.
“This one still dey sleep!” A 15-year-old girl, nicknamed Officer Kehinde, remarks, gesticulating at a young girl, lying helplessly on a mat. She had sleep-tossed off the mat.
“Why not,” another girl, identified as the ‘Chairman’, responds. “She carry wetin pass her and so she must sleep.”
A scrap scavenger had just had [unprotected] sex with her some minutes ago, WikkiTimes learned.
A young lady mocking her fellow sleeping after a drug-induced sex
It was her turn. Other girls had similar tales to tell, too. They all indulge in unprotected sex—mostly drug-induced—to keep their souls and bodies together, and, of course, to keep up with drugs.
One out of every four people who abuse drugs in Nigeria is a woman, says a 2018 report [PDF] released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). This, as understood from the report, gives rise to an uncontrolled sexual orgy, gender-based violence and mental disorder.
Osanle, a fugitive home located at Akala Street in Idi-Oro, Mushin, is a “school” hosting a mix of boys and girls—purely underage—where drug mastery is attained.
Surrounded by a group of three boys, each holding a cloaked weed, ‘Chairman’, as WikkiTimes would learn, bosses over the minor girls in Osanle. She looks tough and not easy to approach.
As she gazed at WikkiTimes’ reporter with contempt, Chairman inhaled a substance known as “Ice.” The substance was mixed with water and inserted into a bottle. She would light it up and inhale it using a straw. It was astonishing to see a fire burning on water.
Other girls in their 14s or 15s, in exchange for tokens, wrap weeds for the novices visiting Osanle for the first time.
Drugs or sex?
Posing as a die-hard addict, this reporter staggered into the worn-out structure — Osanle. An asthmatic patient, no doubt, would meet his/her death here as all corners have been obscured with smoke.
Officer Kehinde, now sitting opposite our reporter, had her hands covered with tattoo marks, the meaning of which only she could decipher. Beside her was another minor girl standing and watching Kehinde as she smoked.
A minor girl watching Officer Kehinde as she smokes
“Which one you dey carry? Abi you wan enter room?” asks, Officer Kehinde.
“Which one you get?”
“Ice dey, Pawpaw dey. Which one you want?”
“Na N50 for one o,” she retorts. WikkiTimes’ reporter dashed her N500, and she went to a corner where another lady, an adult, was sitting. Officer Kehinde returned with pieces of pawpaw tied in small nylons.
There were two other female minors sitting next to this reporter watching him closely, perhaps wondering why he was not smoking what he ordered for. They later lit them up and smoked profusely while the reporter further endeared himself to them to probe deeper.
‘They cultivate dysfunctional sex behaviour’
Mary Shittu (not real name), worries daily about what becomes her children’s future. “How young girls who have deserted their parents’ homes infiltrate this area is disturbing,” she says.
The single mother of three — two females and a baby boy — says she plans to relocate to another area, “preferably not in Mushin.”
The rate at which minors take hard drugs, according to Mary, has driven many minors crazy. “Their females had it worse,” she adds. “They cultivate dysfunctional sexual behaviour. Most of them, after taking the harmful substance, often tear their clothes. In most instances, they run while no one chases them.”
They are also victims of gang rape without knowing what had befallen them after they eventually recover from drug influence, WikkiTimes gathered.
Mentally imbalanced among them are sometimes chained so they don’t run onto moving vehicles across the highway linking Idi-Oro to Ojuelegba, sources told WikkiTimes.
Femi Babafemi, Spokesman for National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said the agency was aware of such a disheartening situation.
“The fight against drugs should be collective,” he says, adding that the members of the community need to be proactive in righting the wrong.
“Those girls in Osanle have parents who are also living in that community. These parents fail to play their roles and that is why we have such a situation,” Femi adds. “Osanle is within the community and there are leaders in that community who need to take responsibility as well.”
“If the community identifies these girls, then we can take them to rehabilitation facilities for reorientation,” says Femi.
He reveals that the agency had frequently busted dealers in their dens but the trend would not stop because the leaders in the community fold their arms to watch.
Beyond this, he notes that there are anti-drug campaigns going on in secondary schools within Lagos. These campaigns, according to Femi, were extended to religious centres where religious leaders were charged to tackle the menace.
The story of drug abuse among young girls in Nigeria has been thoroughly documented.
For instance, in her broad-spectrum investigation of drug abuse among young girls in Nigeria and vices resulting therefrom, BBC’s Ruona Meyer ran a pathetic story of a 14-year-old girl from her home city of Lagos, her parents distraught and uncertain how to help her. The story cast a searchlight making drug abuse and illicit sex phenomenal in recent times.
According to BBC, grief, depression, and a desire to be cool are a few of the reasons young girls are falling for drugs. Musicians buzz on the high it gives. Dealers peddle it in nightclubs and on the streets. Teen girls mix it with soft drinks, or nip it straight from the bottle during “syrup parties”.
Recently, Lagos breeds young girls who go into drugs to be better sex ‘machines’
The inept use of syrup and other substances as well as alcohol, medication, illegal drug for fun, to perform more effectively, or to adjust one’s perception of reality happen to be just a melancholy that crisscrosses the economic, psychosocial and cultural layers of the Nigerian society, it is incontestably a greater peril than the nation had imagined especially amongst young girls, and everyone is probably waking up a little too late to it.
In Lagos today, there are myriads of anecdotes on adolescents and youths, addicted to drug abuse. Recent reports on the expanse of this problem are frightening, revealing the prevalent abuse of tramadol and codeine.
This publication is produced with support from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability project (CMEDIA) funded by the MacArthur Foundation.