Enugu-based pastor, Gabriel Obiano aka Gabriel Ooc, has emerged winner of this year’s edition of Monster Hit Story contest.
The competition is an initiative of Ororo Pattaya 20km and David Jones, who is known for his anti-drug advocacy among the youth.
The contest, which ran on Instagram and Facebook between April and May, was designed for Nigerian youths on social media to share true-life stories that border on life changing experiences on drug and substance abuse.
Report of a survey conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the rate of drug abuse in Nigeria in 2018 was more than twice the global average of 5.3%.
According to the report, 14.3 million Nigerians are involved in abuse of drugs such as marijuana, opioids and cough syrup. The report further showed that those involved in abuse of such drugs are mainly between ages of 15 and 64, while one in every four of them is a woman.
Obiano’s story entitled, How I Lost My Girlfriend To Drug Abuse was a revelation on the disturbing trend of drug abuse and addiction among Nigerian women.
The pastor narrated how he met Esther and later proposed to her, only to discover she was a drug addict who has gone as far as using cocaine.
Obiano recalled: “I met Esther in God’s Word Outreach Ministry in Port Harcourt. As a young preacher, who was willing to settle down after my Bible school, I picked interest in her. We started dating and finally I proposed to her. She accepted the proposal. Meanwhile, she told me how her dad and mom abandoned her at her early stage of life. She said she didn’t know the whereabouts of her dad. Due to hard life, Esther left her mom too and moved to Port Harcourt.
“I felt her pain and advised her to make out time to visit her mom and know how she was doing, and then find out if she’s aware of her dad’s whereabouts. She turned the advice down. Esther was seeing male friends who were in the military and cultists who live a life of thuggery. I was not aware of this until I was desperate to find out what she was doing with her time.
“I visited her on a Thursday, and coming close to her, I noticed that she was drunk. She offered me some drinks, which I turned down because I don’t drink. But I noticed that the drink she offered me was missed with Tramadol. In her apartment, I saw some used (packets of) Tramadol. That time, I never knew it was a hard drug. I thought she was just taking some medicine.
“The next day, she sat beside me and told me plainly she has been using hard drugs, most especially, cocaine. I doubted her, saying ‘you can’t get cocaine in Nigeria’. She laughed and whispered, ‘I get them from the barracks. I have a couple of military friends who use them’.”
Obiano explained further that despite his efforts to help Esther retrace her steps, she ended the relationship, citing the sharp contrast in their lifestyle.
Hear him: “The more I tried to change her mind, the more she hated me. She detested me because I was not buying into her lifestyle. Eventually, she stopped picking my calls. She started avoiding me and then stopped coming to church.
“One day, I decided to visit her after calling her several times. When I reached her doorpost, I was hearing some noise inside, what I saw that day destroyed my mind. I was heartbroken and not anymore in the right frame of mind. At the doorpost, I saw her getting high with friends, male and female.
I stepped outside and called her, she came out and said, ‘what are you doing here? I have told you I don’t want you anymore. It’s over!’ At this moment, she brought out my engagement ring and threw it at me. She said, ‘we have no lifestyle in common, leave me to live my life the way I want’.”
Obiano’s story attracted 377 likes and 849 comments on Instagram, making a total of 1,226 votes to emerge winner of the contest.