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Cocaine Merchanise: Nigeria Sitting on Keg of Gunpowder – Amb. Sunny Irakpo



Founder/President, Silec Initiatives and Youth and Anti-drug advocate, Ambassador Sunny Irakpo, has expressed worry at the top position Nigeria is occupying in cocaine merchanise, saying it is a time bomb waiting to explode.

Irakpo made his position known in a paper he delivered, and made available to The Boss as follows

“In the midst of the pre-election and post-election fever that has engulfed the country in the past 6 months, Nigeria has found herself in the news again, this time on the wrong reason. As people are trying to come to terms with the tensed political atmosphere in the land, news filtered in last week from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that our beloved country is now at the zenith of cocaine smuggling countries in Africa.

“It is so vivid that Nigerians are caught up in a wedlock of mixed emotions after the Presidential, National Assembly, Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly polls that took place all across the nation in February and March. The impacts of the elections outcome are resonating in all parts of the country. Some are basking in the euphoria of the results, some are wailing, disappointed and frustrated, while some are indifferent.

“Almost all government’s ministries, departments and agencies went to sleep in the heat of the politicking, hence a lot were happening and governance was on stand still. All attentions were channeled towards the polls. The report by the UNODC is quite worrisome and it is a testament that we need to do more in our quest to combat drug abuse as a nation.

“SILEC Initiatives as usual, was active and highly vociferous throughout the elections period. Prior to the general elections, we carried out series of campaigns such as Vote Without Drugs to educate Nigerians via the media and event targeted especially to the youths on the need to exercise their franchise and to desist from hard drugs consumption.(Conventional and Unconventional Drugs).

“One major reasons why youths consume hard drugs is bad governance and It is a non-debatable fact. As an NGO, we understand the plights of the average Nigerian youths on the streets. We understand the economic mess and hardship that we find ourselves and the devastating effects it has on all of us. Due to these apparent challenges, some of our promising and talented youths have resorted to hard drugs and substances as a panacea to their economic conditions.

“They just want to get ‘high’ and forget about the economic hardship in the country and the troubles of life. On daily basis, Nigerian youths are experimenting different types of drugs, this is doomed to us a country.

“It is so disheartening that we are not doing enough as a nation to tame this ugly trend that is growing rapidly. It is really shameful that most of our institutions are now compromising. Some families have come to accept the culture of hard drugs consumption amongst their wards, some schools do not have tough laws to deal with the trend of hard drugs usage, probably due to the level of peer group influence and it’s toxicity that exists in our post-primary and tertiary institutions. Some innocent and vulnerable youths from good moral backgrounds have been lured into hard drugs via experimentation which has consequently led to addiction. A three generation disease., Manageable but not securable.

“Due to the advancement of science and technology in recent years, drug traffickers now find it easy to network with their counterparts all over the world, especially cult groups which has also fuelled organized crimes in Nigeria and across the continent.

“This report by the UNODC published on the cable channel is quite disturbing to SILEC Initiatives as a pragmatic organization, because as one of the leading NGOs in the war against drugs abuse in Nigeria to support the efforts of the NDLEA, we have secured partnership deals with WorldChicago and other multinational and national corporations to better the lives of Nigerian youths through education, cultural exchange, leadership, nation and capacity building endeavour.

“The fact remain that , Nigerian youths are precious to us. They are the strength of our nation, they are the energy that the nation needs, they are the pillars that will sustain this nation in the next generation, hence their growth and development is so sacrosanct to us.

“The report from the UNODC states that during 2018 – 2021, trafficking of cocaine was reported from Nigeria to 20 countries. What does this data tell us? It shows that we have to work in the psyche of our productive youths to engage in legitimate economic activities. It shows that the government has to tighten security in our airports, seaports and land borders. The government needs to tackle every form of compromise from our security agencies like Customs, Immigration, Police e.t.c
Some of the countries that Nigerians traffic cocaine to according to the UNODC report are sub-saharan African countries like; Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Ethiopia, Algeria and some countries in Asia pacific region; Saudi Arabia, India, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the United Arabs Emirates e.t.c

“Is has been proven beyond all reasonable doubts that cocaine and other hard drugs arrive into the country through a variety of ways in our airports, seaports and land borders. The report has it that Brazil is the biggest exporter of cocaine to Nigeria. This revelation is troubling and we are calling on the government and other relevant agencies like National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to sit tight and deal with this growing trend. Cocaine is injurious and dangerous to human health when taken.Its effects are both physical and psychological. Over 90% of cocaine consumers in Nigeria take the drugs based on self medication.

“Morocco comes second on the list of African countries with the biggest market for cocaine. The United Nations has warned that the potential for the cocaine market to expand in Africa is a ‘dangerous reality’ and urge governments to closely examine the report findings and determine how the threats can be met with solutions. As it is our custom, SILEC Initiatives will be at the forefront to play key roles in partnering with the NDLEA and other agencies to address this new report and to find lasting solutions to the growth of the cocaine merchandise in Nigeria.

“On a very commendable ground, We want to give kudos to the Chairman/CEO NDLEA Bridg. Gen. Buba Marwa’ (Retd) ,CON,OON and all his gallant men for the capacity demonstrated in the last 2years particularly for seizing 1.8 tonnes of cocaine which worths N194b in September 2022 in Lagos ,the largest seizure in history. We urgently call on all well meaning Nigerians, corporate organizations and philanthropists not to pay a deaf ears to this issue of drugs threatening our existence. As it is today, no one is safe.

“Silec Initiatives will continue to consolidate on our work with the Nation, narcotics agency (NDLEA) even as we anticipate a new government from May 29th, 2023 to build the NIGERIA of our dreams.”

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Police Arrest Four Yoruba Nation Agitators for Seizing Radio Station




Some Yoruba Nation agitators, on Sunday morning, seized Radio Nigeria, Amuludun FM 99.1 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, taking over broadcast for more than one hour.

A source told The PUNCH Metro that the agitators, who besieged the station around 5:40 am in an 18-seater bus, were armed with dangerous weapons and charms, threatening to deal decisively with any staff member who refused to cooperate with them.

However, four out of the agitators, among whom was a woman, were arrested by the police with the assistance of the Nigerian army, while others ran into different directions to evade arrest.

One of the arrested agitators, who sustained gunshot wounds, had rushed into the studio to tell others that security operatives had taken over the nooks and crannies of the station. The blood stain was seen in the studio.

An investigation by our correspondent revealed that after holding some night duty staff and security guards hostage, the agitators hijacked the studio and announced live on radio “Welcome to Yoruba Nation.”

An impeccable source further said they continued threatening staff members to remove all Nigeria flags in the station and replace them with Yoruba Nation flags as they have already taken over the Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.

It was further learnt that they initially hijacked some commercial vehicles (Micra) to block the main road.

When our correspondent visited the station at J&P Bus-stop, Moniya in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state, more than 20 operational vehicles of security agents, including Department of State Services were sighted at strategic locations to forestall any eventuality.

Confirming the invasion, the most senior staff on duty, Ajayi Omotola, stated that, “They told us that they are Yoruba Nation agitators. And in their T-shirt, there was that inscription there. They wrote Yoruba Nation. Only six persons came inside the studio with different charms threatening to kill us if we failed to cooperate. Others were outside manning security at different areas within the premises.

“They collected all our phones and threatened to kill us if we made any noise or phone calls. They said they wanted to broadcast live that Yoruba Nation has taken over. We should remove all Nigeria flags in our studio and replace it with their own. They didn’t allow anybody to go outside. The Area Commander came, addressed and even pleaded with them but they ignored him. We later heard sporadic shooting outside. So, one of our staff members then came inside to inform us that police and soldiers had arrived,” Omotola stressed.

As of press time, normalcy had returned while stern-looking security operatives were still manning the station.

The Punch

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76th Cannes Film Festival Ends with Bang




The stars on parade at 76th Festival de Cannes


By Michael Effiong

The colour, the glamour, the style and class of the 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival ends today with a big bang.

Festival de Cannes, the film industry’s most prestigious festival will take place at 8:30 pm and will be broadcast live on France 2 and internationally on Brut.

The Jury, presided over by director Ruben Östlund and including director Maryam Touzani, actor Denis Ménochet, writer/director Rungano Nyoni, actress/director Brie Larson, actor/director Paul Dano, writer Atiq Rahimi, director Damián Szifron and director Julia Ducournau, will select the winners from the 21 films in Competition this year.

Actress Anaïs Demoustier, President of the Jury, will hand out the Caméra d’or award to the best first film. Actress Stacy Martin and director Ildikó Enyedi, President of the Short Film and La Cinef Jury, will award the Palme d’or for short films.

Actor Orlando Bloom will hand out the Jury Prize. Actor Song Kang-ho, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actor for Broker and actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actress for Holy Spider, will award the Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor Prizes respectively.


Actor John C. Reilly, President of the Un Certain Regard Jury, will award the Best Screenplay Prize, while Pete Docter, Creative Director of Pixar Studios, will present the Best Director Prize.


The Festival de Cannes will also be honored by the exceptional presence tonight of legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, who will present the Grand Prix alongside virtuoso Quentin Tarantino.


Finally, the prestigious Palme d’or will be presented by the formidable and inspiring Jane Fonda.


The Closing Ceremony will mark the end of the 76th Festival de Cannes, and will be followed by the screening of Peter Sohn‘s film Elementary in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.


The 21 films competing for the Palme d’or this year are : Firebrand by Karim Aïnouz, Asteroid City by Wes Anderson, Rapito (Kidnapped)(Kidnapped) by Marco Bellocchio, Les Filles d’Olfa (Four Daughters)(Four Daughters) by Kaouther Ben Hania, L’Été dernier (Last Summer) (Last Summer) by Catherine Breillat, Kuru Otlar Ustune (About Dry Grasses)(About Dry Grasses) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Le Retour (Homecoming) by Catherine Corsini, The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer, Club Zero by Jessica Hausner, May December by Todd Haynes, Monster by Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Kuolleet Lehdet (Fallen Leaves)(Fallen Leaves) by Aki Kaurismäki, The Old Oak by Ken Loach, Il Sol dell’ avvenire (A Brighter Tomorrow)(A Brighter Tomorrow) by Nanni Moretti, La Chimera by Alice Rohrwacher, Black Flies by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Banel e Adama by Ramata-Toulaye Sy, La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Pot-au-Feu) (The Pot-au-Feuby Tran Anh Hùng, Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall) (Anatomy of a Fallby Justine Triet, Jeunesse (Le Printemps) (Youth (Spring))(Youth (Spring)) by Wang Bing, Perfect Days by Wim Wenders.

The Closing ceremony, usually a wonderful evening to behold will be broadcast in English and French by Brut.

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Delta Beyond Drugs: Bishop Aruakpor Receives Silec Initiatives




In preparation for the forthcoming Delta Beyond Drugs Project in Delta State, the SILEC Initiatives team paid a visit to the Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Oleh Church of Nigeria, The Rt. Rev’d John Usiwoma Aruakpor. The solidarity visit was led by the Founder/President Silec Initiatives, Amb. Sunny Irakpo, a U.S Government Sponsored Exchange Alumni who was invited by the U.S Government to participate in the prestigious international Visitor’s Leadership Exchange Program of the Department of State in 2019.

Upon his return from the States, the anti-drug ambassador has continued to sensitize the public on the dangers of drug abuse in Nigeria where he currently floats the Delta Beyond Drugs Project to compliment the efforts of the State Government in order to help address the heightened state of drugs and substance abuse.

Irakpo, intimated the plans of the DBD Project to the Diocesan who keep championing innovative projects in Isoko especially the just concluded School of Nursing , Hospital and many other ongoing projects for the Isoko nation. He hinted that the primary objective of the DBD Project is to sensitize the youths and parents alike about the dangers of drug abuse with the various experimentations presently ongoing amongst youths.

He voiced that drug abuse has eaten deeply into the fabric of the society, and the illicit are experimentation by the youths with different hazardous chemicals/ drugs on a regular basis which is even harmful to their health and that the need to address this ugly trends claiming the lives of promising youths in the state is now.

The trend which has become very worrisome in Isokoland and other parts of Delta state, need the attention of all stakeholders to participate in the wellbeing and wellness of our youths and society.

While he appreciated the clergyman for given them the opportunity to collaborate with the church, also related that Silec Initiatives is one of the most active anti-drug NGO in Nigeria, and as a pragmatic organization that has contributed immensely to the fight against drugs merchandise with empirical evidences, remain an NGO recognized at the international level for their exception capacity in the fight against drug abuse in Nigeria for over a decade.

In his response, Bishop Aruakpor was very happy, impressed and proud with the Founder Silec Initiatives Sunny Irakpo for making the Isoko nation proud in Nigeria and across the global space.

And that seeing a young man with such laudable vision with thought provoking ideas and concept is an indication that Isoko nation is on the good path of greatness and progress if only support is given to him and many others who are making the Isoko nation proud.

In his words, I am proud of you for all the giant strides you have made in this nation in this life transforming Initiative.

We gladly welcome you home for we need you at this critical moment that our youths are becoming something else in the name of drugs. As a diocese ,we are doing our best in the environment we’ve found ourselves as we continue to apply the ant philosophy to achieve all the God given projects to us. For there’s nothing , I lay my hands that God will not help me to accomplished. So in this campaign against drugs and substance abuse in Delta State Particularly in Isokoland, we are solidly behind you to drive the message back home. We shall give Silec Initiatives the full support and to also rally round in the area of funding for the sustenance of the project. We shall also try our best to reach out to the various stakeholders of which we are also involving the Nigeria Police, all the clergy and the youths.

Other members of the team were Kingsley Ewomarevia Silec Initiatives Community Liaison Coordinator, James Agholor, Director of Publication Silec Initiatives, top Isoko artistes Obara Obaro (MC Moonlight) and Funky Franky a music impresario.

The event is schedule to take place with a mega rally to mark the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking on the 10th June ,2023 in Partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Oleh Church of Nigeria by 8:am at the Cathedral of Paul as a meeting point to take off.

The founder Silec Initiatives enjoined all Sons and Daughters of Isoko to come out enmass to vehemently resist this enemy of progress of youths, Isoko nation, Delta State and Nigeria in general.

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