Although the pair are still being referred to as fast-rising singers, Mohbad and Zinoleesky have become something of household names in the Nigerian music landscape.
They have both had significant influences on their fans who are mostly impressionable youths.
With millions of followers on social media platforms — even as emerging artistes — Mohbad and Zinoleesky, who got signed to Marlian Music in 2020, are seen as role models of some sort by their peers and the teeming youth younger than them.
In the early hours of Thursday, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) confirmed their arrest after a video had surfaced online showing the officials of the anti-drug agency cuffing the two artistes.
Femi Babafemi, NDLEA’s spokesperson, said some quantities of cannabis were found during a raid on their residence.
“Our men raided an area in Idado estate where Naira Marley’s boys stay. Some quantities of Cannabis and Molly, otherwise known as Estacy, were recovered from their apartment and car,” he told TheCable Lifestyle.
Earlier last month, De General, the 22-year-old skit maker, was also arrested alongside three other persons with “200 sachets of 225mg Tramadol and 1.5kilograms of cannabis sativa.”
The skit maker was later charged with three counts of trafficking tramadol and cannabis sativa and convicted of the charges by a federal high court in Lagos after pleading guilty to possessing substances found in his home.
The court, however, ruled that the volume of substance was too minimal for a sentence and cautioned him to “go and sin no more”.
Although the NDLEA’s war against illicit drugs is not one that started recently, it appears to be taking a new and fiery dimension, particularly against the country’s entertainment industry players.
Cannabis, molly, and tramadol are some of the propellants used by a number of Nigerian singers who also promote these substances in their lyrics and music videos.
These persistent pop habits have continually influenced susceptible youths and rendered many of its users mentally incapacitated.
In a meeting with President Buhari in September 2021, Buba Marwa, chairman of NDLEA, said the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed cannabis to be dangerous to the brain,
He also said, “Nigeria is the highest consumer of the substance”.
In one of the chairman’s briefings in Abuja last year, he had revealed that the fight against illicit drugs has never been this intense and impactful in the history of the country.
Recently, the agency disclosed that it has destroyed 18 laboratories used in the production of methamphetamine and thousands of hectares of cannabis farms across the country.
Further confronting the menace, the agency on February 23 discovered and destroyed a total of 255 hectares of cannabis farms in Ondo state.
During the operation, 13 persons were also arrested in different operations.
With the arrests of the three entertainers in the past six weeks, it, however, remains to be seen if the NDLEA has deliberately focused on drug-linked networks in the entertainment scene, or maybe the recent crackdowns are just another of its many operations. Time will tell.
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