"This robbery thing starts when they have taken codeine and coke.

"They entered my house and were looking at me like I was just as small as an ant.

“Two small boys and a girl with pistol and machete took my television away, collected my money and gave me the beating of my life on top of it.

"The government should do something," a female resident of Biogbolo community in Bayelsa State, told Bounce News, as she narrated her taste of the ordeal that the community now suffers. 

Over the counter drugs classified as opioids and hard drugs like marijuana are increasingly being abused in Nigeria and the earlier the government takes a decision on the situation the better.

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One place that drug abuse is creating unbearable circumstances is Etegwe community in Bayelsa State, and a location near a market popularly called 'Tombia' is where this evil is allegedly brewed.

It is a daily market where residents buy and sell on both sides of a bridge.

hard drugs fuelling robbery and crime in Bayelsa
Notorious criminals have turned the location to hideout

It is located at the junction just before the Etegwe Roundabout and under that same bridge, exists a busy city of crime and other vices.

It is presided over by an alleged underworld lord addressed as "chairmo".

He is allegedly responsible for leasing out weapons such as pistols, machetes, daggers and axes to his gang members who in turn unleash mayhem with their armoury on the innocent and unsuspecting residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital.

Recently, a 12 year old junior secondary school student was caught with a pistol while a youth corp member's arm was cut off at the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Camp in Bayelsa State.

In another incident, a male resident of Tenacious Road in Edepie was robbed and shot in his arm while Mr Moses Amadein, a native of Koluama II in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area was not so lucky.

He died in the early horus of Wednesday, as a result of a gunshot injury he sustained on his chest when armed bandits attacked him at Diamond Bank, Amarata branch.

This surge in crime has been linked to illicit use of drugs such as tramadol, codeine, marijuana and different brands of alcoholic drinks.

According to Medical experts, drugs are sensitive substances that should not be toyed with, as any medicine in the wrong hands is a potential poison.

The unusual demand for tramadol and codeine by teenagers is a thing of concern in the state.

hard drugs fuelling robbery and crime in Bayelsa

They use these drugs to get high and in the process, endanger their lives and that of others while committing various degrees of crimes.

These controlled drugs are usually dispensed to the teenagers without a doctor's report and taken by mixing it in a bottle of coke.

After the administration, it has the tendency of taking control of the brain and spinal cord, and dismantles the effective functioning of the brain.

At that stage, these hard drug users take up arms and wreck havoc without a second thought, something a female resident of Biogbolo shared while narrating her ordeal in the hands of these criminals.

Another resident who spoke on condition of anonymity, said his stolen Plasma television was recovered under the Etegwe bridge.

He claimed to have paid 20,000 Naira to the chairmo before the television was released.

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It was gathered that most of the items stolen within Edepie are usually recovered with a price, under Etegwe bridge.

It appears it is a means of extorting residents of their hard earned money.

Despite the effort of the security agents, the rate of criminal activities is increasing to the extent that people now find it difficult to walk or board vehicles freely, as one can also be robbed inside a auto rickshaw (Keke Napep).

To this end, parents and guardians have been advised to monitor their children/wards closely.

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