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The Wages Of Inordinate Pursuits

A 44-year-old drug suspect, Chibude Chide has told anti-drug agents that he invested N2million naira into drug trafficking because he wanted to earn N4million naira profit in return. Officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA Lagos, arrested him.

The arrest occurred while he attempted to board a Qatar Airways flight to China where drug trafficking is punishable by death. Chibude, a clothes seller based in Enugu, married with a child, said his problem began in 2008 when he lost three of his shops and all he had labored for to ‘spiritual attack’ and sold his only property in Enugu with the hope of relocating to Lagos for greener pastures until he paid heed to wrong advice from friends.

Giving in to his greed and inordinate ambition for more money, he followed an advice that if he invested the N2million he had, he would reap double the amount. Unbeknownst to him, had he been successful with conveying the cargo to China, he may not have made it back alive as drug trafficking attracts capital punishment there.

Who knows, it could be because of the likes of Chibude that an anonymous poet said, “He that seeks to be great by all means seeks the path of self-destruction”. A verse in the Christian Bible says “money answereth all things,” yet the same says “money is the root of all evil.”

There are a lot of things to be done with money no doubt in fact daily living thrives on money viz food, shelter, health, and probably, mobility but placing so much priority on money leads to an insatiable desire to have it by any means possible. While there may be nothing wrong in an individual’s pursuit for wealth and a comfortable life, it becomes a criminal act when he does so by destroying either himself or others thus jeopardizing others liberty and opportunities.

Inordinate ambition, narrow mindedness and greed are the reasons behind the problem of insecurity, mindless corruption, poor or bad governance culminating in mediocrity, underdevelopment and conflict in many parts of the world. This hydra-headed monster popular known as ‘get-richquick- syndrome’ coupled with the economic gap between the rich and poor in society (- the rich are getting richer while the poor continue to dwell in abject poverty) could be the reason why many like Chibude have gone to extremes so as to ‘belong.’

For most Nigerians, the issue is a matter of personal value and cultural perception. Their responses are as their background. Maurice Michael, a lawyer was first taken aback by the question, could not help but wonder why someone would take the risk of investing his money in a risky business like drug trafficking.

In his words, “Drug business is a risky business. Talking about making profit from it, is a thing left to chance in other words, it is a 50- 50 thing. One may be lucky and not get caught at his homeland but what is the guarantee that he would not be caught when he touches down at his destination? Even if he makes it to the destination in one piece, is he sure of coming back alive? I would not invest my money into such shady deals for any reason.”

“That case can never arise. Sell my house! Anyway, it depends on the type of house and location. If I have a house in a choice location say Ikeja GRA or Lekki, why would I sell it to get involved in drug business? But if it were to be a small bungalow in Ikorodu, I would not mind selling it and reinvesting the money.

That notwithstanding, if I have the money to build a house, for God’s sake, what would I be doing getting involved in drug trafficking?” quizzed John Paul, a media practitioner. Idowu, an advert practitioner sees nothing wrong in selling his house to invest in business but does not like the drug business “I can sell my house to invest but certainly not in this kind of business,” he said. Another who does not support the idea, Mudiagha, a publisher, said “God forbid.

I cannot do a thing like that. I have seen the effects of drugs on people as well as those whose lives have been ruined. Drug trafficking is not a legitimate business. It is like throwing ones life into fire, so, why get involved in it. I would rather go into a business that is legitimate and gives me peace of mind than that which is not so secure.” Olajide Oni, an engineer, who describes himself as a hustler, says he sees nothing wrong in one selling his house and investing in drug business. For him, “it is all about the money.

If the guys with whom I am doing business assure me of double returns on my investment, I would take the plunge. Life is all about risk taking and it is only the brave who dare to venture, that succeed.” Oni finds support in Austin, a logistic personnel, “Yes. I can sell my house and invest the money if the business is profitable. Besides, people invest their money into one business or the other.

Though drug trafficking is not legitimate but no one is forced to use drugs. But if you use drugs, it is at your own peril. So if drug business is profitable I definitely would go for it,” he said. Meanwhile, the Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade describes drug trafficking as criminal warning that those who seek wealth from criminality would end up in prison custody.

He said “NDLEA is combating drug trafficking with every resource at its disposal. Drug trafficking is criminal and the gains of a drug-free society is priceless. The lesson to be learnt is that those who seek quick wealth from drug trafficking will end up in prison custody.” The average young man desires to ride a jeep with a psychedelic lady beside him while he displays a high level of confidence based on the wads of note he has both in his pocket and in his bank account.

One thing remains clear, after all these hussles and struggles, when one dies, does his wealth follow him to the grave? There is need, as many agreed, for a re-orientation to be conducted for the youths to embrace skill acquisition and the need to be self-employed while exploring other means of making money outside oil. Besides, money made in a rush is often spent in a rush, and as the Christian bible puts is “vanity upon vanity, all is vanity.”

-When a 44-year-old man decided to sell his house and invest the proceeds in a drug business on arguement to double the amount, sense and sensibility take flight writes Nwakaego Ohaegbulam

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