Baiye Adebowale; Change the Message from Drug Abuse to Self Abuse.

The Lagos state legislative arm led by the speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and members of the House recently organized a town hall meeting in their various constituents across the state with the theme ” Increasing Wave of Drug Abuse among the Youths. A threat to Nation Building”.

Airviewsnews correspondent, Michael Reuben was at the Town hall meeting for Etiosa constituency 02 organised by Hon Gbolahan Yishau at the YMCA Hall in Ikoyi.

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Our correspondent met with a pragmatic Youth advocate whose primary aim and objective is to help nurture and re-orientate Nigerian youths on drugs and substance abuse, Cultism and other social vices killing our nation,he was glad to offer us an indepth interview.

Airviews Correspondent : kindly introduce yourself Sir.

Mr Baiye: I’m Adebowale Folarinwa Baiye, a.k.a Simba, a Youth advocate. Im passionate about making an average Nigerian youth better than I met them. I feel focus on the issue of drugs and substance abuse, misuse and drug dependency amongst Nigerian youths.

Airviews Correspondent : The levels of drug intake amongst the youth have been on an increasing rate, although the government is doing much in curbing drug abuse. What is the yardstick through which you disseminate information to the youths?

Mr Baiye: what I’ve been doing and I’m still doing is to move from one school to another, community outreach, religious organization with the message of hope for the teeming youths in our society. I’ve been doing this on my own volition and some have been base on invitations, I don’t care what it takes even if its to go on bended knees to appeal to the authority to give me few minutes to speak to the students and sensitize them on drug misuse and abuse. One thing I always say is that a misinformed youth will grow up to be a deformed adult, a deformed adult will misinform the upcoming generation. We need to pass the right information to these upcoming innocent teenagers. I’ve taken it upon myself to spread the information, although the government has been trying in their own little way but not enough to reduce this menace that is killing our youths. I organize symposiums, seminars and speak at conferences just to address the students and inform them about the dangers involved and addicted in illicit drug intake. I also make use of the social media by posting weekly articles on drug abuse.

Airviews Correspondent : Do you get recognized or rewarded by the government for what you do?

Mr Baiye: So far so good, I’ve been facilitating for the Lagos state government through the ministry of youth and social development through the Ibile Youth engaging the students on the disadvantages of substance abuse. To be involved in the Ibile Youth Platform is recognition for me but by and large, if to be recognized or rewarded is what im after, then I’m not doing the right thing. I’d rather want to focus on the youths having the right message than to fill my head with recognition that will come at the right time. If assistance or sponsorship come, the coverage area will be wider, we can do more together, than when im doing a lone ranger advocate. Speaking doesn’t cost me stress or penny, im passionate about speaking against the ills of  drug abuse which is killing our youth. My award and recognition is left to God in heaven, while im still alive, my aim is to make the youths better than I met them and have more Baiye out there speaking against drug abuse and dependency amongst our youths.

Airviews Correspondent : In the cause of your advocacy program, have you ever thought of having a political ambition in order to propagate your vision for the Nigerian youths?

Mr Baiye: Honestly, Ive never liked politics until I saw a video where a politician was advocating for youth participation in politics. Ive always love to be seen and addressed as a statesman, and I would prefer to remain that way. I contested as a councilor on the platform of the People Democratic Party,PDP in my constituency, Ojokoro LCDA in the recently concluded local government election in Lagos state. Some people complain about my participation in politics, cos it is perceived to be a deadly and dirty profession but I tell them that I didn’t go into politics as a politician who’s involved in Politicking and Politiricking but as a statesman whos concerned about the wellness of his people and environment. The likes of Late Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, Tafawa Balewa etc were statesman who wanted the betterment of their people and community. It is appalling that the current crop of politicians are only concerned about themselves and the enrichment of their pocket, deceiving the masses and engaging the youths in political thuggery and other social vices. Though ive found myself in politics but I will remain a statesman with my vision statement of making the youths better than I met them.

Airviews Correspondent: Lagos state is APC stronghold, and you lost the Councillorship election on the platform of PDP. Did you challenge the result at the ongoing Election Petition Tribunal?

Mr Baiye: No, I don’t believe in challenging election result, its not a do or die affair, I contested to represent my people and I believe they voted for me and their votes counted but in all election there must be a winner. I congratulate the councilor-elect, Hon. Bosun, I urge him to be serve the people who elected him intooffice, and not to just be an APC councilor but a leader for all parties in order to make Ojokoro better for all of us without any perceived ill feelings against other political parties. I pray God gives him the ability and strength to aid his decision making. I don’t need to challenge his victory, if he wasn’t meant to be there, he won’t be there but as much as God want him to occupy the seat, no challenge can unseat him.

Airviews Correspondent: As a Youth advocate in the campaign against drug abuse with experience. Are you fulfilled with the progressive impact you’re making?

Mr Baiye: To God be the glory, so far so good, He has been making impact cos I don’t want to arrogate the success to myself rather it has been God doing the work while Im only a tool in His hand. There are lots of youth out there that have return to appreciate what ive been doing and how it has affected them positively. Weve had various testimony from beneficiaries and parents both in school and communities. I once had opportunity to speak at a school where a particular student was personally singled out as irresponsible due to his intake of illicit drugs, he was referred to as a No Future Ambition guy but today, hes doing fine, made his WAEC, and also secured admission into the university but due to Covid 19 pandemic and the national lockdown, he had to retake JAMB this year, hping to secure another admission to further his academic study. He calls me and always willing to join the outreach just to share his own experience among the teeming youth and enlighten them on substance abuse.

Airviews Correspondent: Are You married?

Mr Baiye: Yes, I’m happily married to my beautiful wife, Bolanle Baiye, and we are blessed with 2 beautiful kids.

Airviews Correspondent: Does your advocacy group have a name?

Mr Baiye: No, I use my company name which is 3DK Consult.

Airviews Correspondent : where do you intend to see 3DK Consult and your advocacy outreach in the next 10 years?

Mr Baiye: It is my vision to stand on the grandest stage of the global organization. United Nations , to speak about this menace that is a threat to youth development and nation building. I’m not just an advocate for the Lagos youth but a global advocate for a global audience. I look forward to see 3DK Consult being ably represented by myself and many youths I’ve impacted upon representing Nigeria as a whole. The message is not about me but for the teeming Nigerian youth involved in drugs.

Airviews Correspondent: Apart from the Lagos state ministry of Youth Development, do you have other NGO or organization that partner or sponsor your advocacy program?

Mr Baiye: Most of my advocacy program have been base on invitations from youths who have listened to me during one or two of my program and mostly Ibile Youths who are being trained and sent back into their locality as ambassadors. These are the youths who mostly invite me to speak. Distance have never been a barrier to me, im always available in as much as it concerns youth advocacy against drug abuse, if it means trekking for miles to cover the distance, I’m always available but one thing I’m certain about is that whenever I get to the stage, there’s always something to say to the youths.

Airviews Correspondent: During some of your outreach, you do empower students and schools with basic needs. How do you achieve this, even when you don’t get paid?

Mr Baiye: All those things being shared does not really come from Baiye but I give credit toand accolades to friends who have been supportive of my vision. I may not have a fat bank account but I have a very good name, good friends who love me for what I do. Whenever I call them, they are always available to support. Whenever I go to any school for my advocacy program and I see a need for the students, I swing into actions by informing my friends, and they support me no matter how little. These funds are put together to provide what the students and school lack.

Airviews Correspondent:Your advocacy program is time consuming and attention demanding, how do you balance it with your family life ?

Mr Baiye: that’s a big question you just asked, I love my family but this advocacy program is my number one calling, to raise children in the way they should grow and when they are grown they can face the reality of life. I cant be out there raising other children and neglect mine. I always try to find time for my children, no matter how tired I may be cos one of the things I have discover from what ive been doing in the past 21 years is communicating with children of both rich and poor parents , and one major complain of these children is the unavailability of their parents when they need them most, which is why I find time to play with my children and they are use to me that they keep late night just to see and hear me tell them how much I love them.

Airviews Correspondent: Have you had challenges in the cause of your advocacy program?

Mr Baiye:  No, each time I set out, I have the mindset of, if you can win one, you’ve won all. If I speak to a thousand youth and only 1% gives me attention, im fulfilled cos the 1% will reach out to the remaining 99%. I don’t get bothered with the challenges and I don’t set out for the outreach without praying. Ive never had any reason to return home with regret.

Airviews Correspondent: How do you cope financially?

Mr Baiye: I thank God for His provision, the bible is very real. I always tell people that God called me and since He called me, there is no way I come back regretting, I may not have a fat account neither am I driving a jeep but im happy I have what money cant buy. Im happy seeing youths shout my name for the positive impact ive made in their life, that has been my take home cheque. I can affirmatively tell you that im happy.

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Airviews Correspondent: Can you differentiate between drug abuse and Substance abuse?

Mr Baiye: The name drug abuse is kind of choking life, we don’t say food or alcohol abuse but we always mention drug abuse. It is not drug abuse in order to understand the gravity of what we are dealing with, it should be called self abuse. We can call it drug misuse, overdose or over dependent because you can’t successfully abuse drugs rather you can only abuse yourself by using or misusing drugs, nothing happen to the drug rather, it is who uses the drugs that is being abused. If we change it from drug abuse to self abuse, it will create some kind of self awareness and help the youth come to the reality of the abuse, more so, these drugs are sold cheaply and it makes mockery of whoever takes it no matter your status and how brilliant you may be, if you do drugs, you abuse your brain. Self abuse carries more weight than drug abuse.

Airviews Correspondent: it is widely acclaimed that drug addict is as a result of Peer pressure, broken homes. What can you say about this claim?

Mr Baiye: We’ve had various reasons why people go to drugs as mentioned earlier but the bottom line and missing factor is LOVE, there are some kids with their parent but their parents don’t know how to love their kids. The best way to love others is to first love yourself, if you’re from a broken home, you must accept the situation but its not a totality of who you are. Drug isn’t the only option for you base on your present situation; you will only hurt yourself the more. If your parents are divorced and you feel doing drug is the only way out, you have only succeeded in hurting yourself more. If your parents are apart and you become successful tomorrow, you are in the best position to reunite them but that’s only if you’re in the right state of mind. More so, if your parent marriage doesn’t work it doesn’t mean your own marriage won’t work. Love is the ultimate message for the youths. Parent should learn to love and pray for their kids cos if you don’t show them love, they go out to make friends who end up introducing them to drugs who later turn out to also mock them when they get addicted or induced with the illicit substances

Airviews Correspondent: How do you spend your leisure time?

Mr Baiye: I do my other business which is laundry services, I also play scrabble with my daughters cos im a scrabble addict. I write articles and also hang out with my friends to have healthy discussions cos my father once told me never to tell an idiot to keep quiet cos it is through the idiot that you will learn not to talk like an idiot, so I love listening to people talk.

Airviews Correspondent: who is your number 1 fan?

Mr Baiye: My greatest support outside God is my darling wife, she is my number one fan and pillar of success at what I do. She made me comfortable even when I come back home with nothing or no financial gain from my progress. All she wants is my happiness and fulfillment at what I do. She is indeed the mighty roar of Simba

Airviews Correspondent: Your parting word for the youths.

Mr Baiye: if you have to play with anything, don’t play with your life. If everyone say nothing is working in Nigeria, you should tell yourself you are working, if no youth is succeeding around you. Tell yourself you will succeed. You don’t need a motivational speaker to motivate you. Motivate yourself, always see the best in you and leave beyond what you see today. Look at yourself in the mirror, anticipate greatness. Love yourself, invest in your personality

Airviews Correspondent: Your parting word for the parents.

Mr Baiye: Your children desire more than parenting, they want you to be their friend, when last did you pray and profess greatness into their lives? Love your kids unconditionally in order for them to be able to confide in you.

Thank you.

One thought on “Baiye Adebowale; Change the Message from Drug Abuse to Self Abuse.”

  1. Great Interview.
    More men with mindsets as Mr. Baiye will bring forth the change we so desperately need and desire for our dear country!
    Keep the good work on, sir.

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