BY DANIEL MOSES
In case you’ve not been paying too much attention, Olamide’s very recent song, “Science students” is a clear description of some parts, if not most, in Nigeria. “Won ti po mi gutter po, awon omo science students” is a phrase that depicts how drugs are bastardized by many Nigerian youths. We surely cannot blame them. Life has put different people in very different circumstances, some great, many unfair. Life itself isn’t fair.
On the 18th February 2018, some members – who are majorly youths – of the Eagles foundation for humanity visited Akala, a community in Lagos State. Lo and behold, they might have asked if Isaac Newton was a native of Akala, as they had too many “science students” taking “practicals” in their open laboratory located on the streets.
Eagles foundation for humanity @eaglesffh is an organization comprising majorly of youths who are deeply concerned about humanity. The foundation is led by Barrister Anifowoshe Titilope (@classicaltiti), and has undertaken many humanity projects like ending omilende’s 30 years of non accessibility to clean water.
As humanity demands, while the foundation was brainstorming for a project to embark in the year 2018, her attention was drawn to Akala. The community was said to be a strong base for weed taking youths, and even young pregnant girls. We were shocked to our bones. Why has life treated these lots like this, was just one of the numerous questions on our minds. This was what prompted the visit to Akala.
To quote the words of the CEO, who witnessed this first hand,
“On the street, I saw a long and big gathering of about 30-40 youths chatting and playing games. A single thing is the common denominator there “weed” . Even Funke Akindele’s “omo ghetto” movie cant succinctly depict the ocean of weed I saw there. I saw an open display of a weed production factory with different contingents and departments. I stopped making the video in fear of being harassed.”
“I have been to Fela’s shrine and I have seen people smoking weed at different times. I have been to places where weed is wrapped but I tell you AKALA IS DIFFERENT! . The weed here is large scale, the production, the consumption, the preparation is opened, advanced, viral and general! I have never seen as many youths as this converging in one place to process weed! Never!”
For Pete’s sake, fellow Nigerians, there were numerous young pregnant girls in this community. We cannot fold our hands and watch the further depletion of our country’s future. Even if you do, I bet you that Eagles foundation, being the humanity concerned lots they are, would not. I charge you all NOT to turn a blind eye on this.
The way forward?
Unlike many other youths, there is a pretty high chance that these ones in Akala community have no parents or guardians, or were brought up under very harsh conditions, have no vocational skills, does not think life has a meaning and might have even given up on their future. Posterity would judge us if we fail to lift even the smallest finger to help.
EFFH has resolved to take Akala as their project for 2018. By the last quarter of this year, we would gather these youths, talk to them, and bring vocational trainers to put them through on some skills. We think they should get something doing. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
Fellow Nigerians, let us join hands. Let us turn these “science students” into “arts students”. It’ll be much better for our future as a country.