Let me quickly talk about the ‘lazy’ comments of Muhammadu Buhari, the anger of Nigerian youths, and the supposed closure of some pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria. Some weeks ago, when Buhari said some Nigerian youths are lazy and uneducated, majority of these youths were very angry and they were even spitting fire, they said the president shouldn’t have said that, that he shouldn’t have washed their dirty linens in public. Everyone was blaming Buhari, including parents who are not responsible to their children. And I want to ask, why should you care about anyone washing your dirty linen in public when you don’t even have any dirty linen? It is only those whose linens are dirty who should get angry.
Recently, I watched a documentary on BBC Africa which talks about the abuse of codeine-cough syrups by the majority of Nigerian youths. The pharmaceutical companies who produce these medications produce them strictly to be used as a cough syrup. But, Nigerian youths were seen using these medications to drug themselves and get high. Is it the fault of these companies or the fault of those who abuse the drugs? Answer that in your mind. These are youths who claim to be responsible. These are youths who say they are not lazy but who need to be drugged before they can function well.
The Federal Government of Nigeria should have a rethink. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control should have a rethink too. The inventor and manufacturer of the world widely used assault rifle, AK47 factory has not been shut down irrespective of various atrocities being committed worldwide with the rifle. Instead, what many countries did is to tighten gun laws and man their borders to avoid AK47 from entering wrong hands.
Meanwhile, during the 50th anniversary of the rifle, the inventor Sergeant Mikhail Kalashnikov said that he invented the rifle to defend his country, that any other use you put it to, you are on your own. He wrote to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in May 2012, wondering if he was responsible for the many deaths caused by the weapon he had created. In his letter to the Russian Patriarch, Kalashnikov wrote that one question was causing pain to his soul. He said:
“I keep having the same unsolved question: if my rifle claimed people’s lives, then can it be that I… a Christian and an Orthodox believer, was to blame for their deaths? The longer I live, the more this question drills itself into my brain and the more I wonder why the Lord allowed man to have the devilish desires of envy, greed and aggression”. Cigarettes giants BTA had to relocate to Nigeria after harsh laws against smoking in Britain. Even with the dangerous effects of tobacco to health, they are still producing, and these effects affect the general public.
The acid producers or importers were not told to stop importing or producing because people are using it for acid bath. The Federal Government should know that closing Emzor, the household indigenous pharmaceutical company, and the other two pharmaceutical companies, Peace Standard Pharmaceuticals and Bioraj Pharmaceuticals, because they use codeine in the production of cough syrup is not good at this moment that the country is struggling with many things.
I remember when it was discovered that brommate is dangerous to health. No bakery was closed but bakers were warned not to use it and the erring ones were sanctioned. The Federal Government can save over 13000 workers who will lose their jobs as a result of the closure, either by mandating these pharmaceutical companies to recall all their products that contain codeine or make sure that anyone who uses these products, apart from the purpose for which they are manufactured, should be apprehended and made to face the wrath of the law.