At the CSO-Parliamentary-Stakeholders’ Policy Round-table on Effective Drug Control, a goodwill message was delivered by Dr. Kojo, Training and Manpower development on behalf of the NDLEA Chairman, Brig. Gen Buba Maruwa (Rtd).
“It is no longer news that the global rate of drug abuse by our youths, illicit drug trafficking and related crime is increasingly threatening the safety and well being of our societies. The specifics of these threats paints a picture that until urgent intervention steps are put in place, the future of our youths and the collective society which we all live in may become increasingly unsafe for everyone.
More worrisome is the discoveries of local substances by many young people that could be potentially abused. More so, the increasing discovery of Clandestine Laboratories for the production of Methamphetamine, across the States in Nigeria has put the trend in drug abuse at an alarming rate. Reported cases of other locally brewed drugs are also of serious concern.
These innovated substances of abuse have increased the availability of
unconventional drugs at little or no cost to our youths. This is not only increasing the harm to human health but has also proven to harm the socio-cultural values that once promote peace and security in our communities.
However, we want to strongly assure you that we have been following every new trend of drug abuse, illicit cultivation, production, manufacturing, processing, distribution and illicit trafficking. Through our viable intelligence network, we have been tracking illicit drug activities to ensure that there is no safe haven for them in any part of Nigeria and in all the countries of the world.
At this juncture, please permit me to commend the organizers of this round table Summit, YouthRISE Nigeria for your sustainable commitment in the areas of drug research, information, support and education targeted at drug abuse prevention and harm reduction. This gathering is also heartwarming especially that it is coming at a time when my Administration is restructuring and reengineering to deal decisively with the menace of drugs and related crime in our great Nation, Nigeria.
Our treatment and rehabilitation records of drug dependent persons indicates that many vibrant academic, professional, business and leadership potential of our youths have been eroded or completely destroyed by drug abuse. Thus, the significant economic, political, social and intellectual contributions of those drug dependent youths to societal, institutional and national building are greatly missed.
There is no doubt that the youths are the most vulnerable group to drug abuse and the number of involvement is on the increase through a major factor of peer influence. Today, many youths who are not into drugs are seen as ‘old school’ and often not admitted into the deviant social groups of their peers who are into drugs and related crime. Many who are desirous of association with their peers fall cheaply into the subtle or aggressive pressure by their friends. All across the country we have energetic youths who are not positively engaged.
Our collective resolve at NDLEA is to reduce to the barest minimum, the activities of illicit drugs in Nigeria within the shortest possible time. However, the task is enormous and we therefore request that every Nigerian contribute to making this resolve a reality by exposing every drug dealer in our families, neighborhood, communities, Local
Government Areas and our respective States.
Because of the enormity of the drug problem, my vision and noble initiative is to make the public ‘own the fight against controlled substances’; ‘a case of people of Nigeria vs. drug barons, traffickers and users’. This initiative recently culminated in the inauguration of the Special Purpose Committee that draws a pool of stakeholders to join NDLEA in advocacy against illicit drugs. The Committee is presently working on a well defined strategic framework to make the people own the drug war in Nigeria.
In conclusion, I want to assure that we will try everything possible within the provisions of the law while also employing high professional standards in driving our mandate of building a drug free Nigeria”.