The Nigerian Community in Malawi has faulted government for its alleged failure to curb the growing syndicate of illegal and dangerous drugs business in the country.
In an interview yesterday, Nigerian Community in Malawi chairperson Ken Nwosu said the illegal business of dangerous drugs is now rampant because of the country’s weak laws on illicit drugs.
He said government should emulate examples of other countries that have tough laws in illicit drug trafficking that threatens the future of youths.
“I am appealing to government to come up with a stiff punishment on this issue and create awareness on this. In other countries, you will find a warning at the airport that ‘if you are caught with drugs, you will be hanged’, that is the law. I think if government came up with a stiff punishment like 30 or 50 years in jail the issue would be controlled,” said Nwosu.
The blame follows an apparent increase in the illicit drug business in the country and the arrest of Nigerian national Alex Ojukwu, nicknamed Old Man, who confessed to having bought an air ticket for Riyadh Randera, 26, who died in Brazil two weeks ago.
It is alleged that Randera made the trip without his parents’ knowledge and swallowed cocaine-filled condoms to evade security but the condoms burst in him.
In a statement issued on Monday co-signed by Nwosu and his secretary Chidi Igboeche, the community condemned the malpractice and pledged to partner government in curbing the illicit business in the country.
Reads the statement in part: “The Nigerian community condemns in absolute terms the involvement of some unscrupulous Nigerians in drug peddling. The community will set up a committee that will work closely with the Malawi drug laws enforcement authorities to prevent the involvement of some Nigerians in this ugly business”.
In an interview yesterday, government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi welcomed the move by the Nigerian community.
He said: “They must help us. They should not shield them and say there is no security in the country.”
In an earlier interview with The Nation, Centre for Peace and Security (CPS) executive director Brigadier General Marcel Chirwa (retired) said the problem of illicit drugs is compounded with the Malawi Police Service failing in public security and the Immigration letting in shady foreigners with criminal backgrounds.