The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has solicited the cooperation of Nigerians in its fight against the menace of drug abuse.
Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba-Marwa (Retired), NDLEA Chairman, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Centre for Ethical Rebirth Among Nigerian Youths (CERANY), an NGO.
It was reported that the anniversary also coincided with the flag-off of nationwide campaign against drug abuse and insecurity by Maj.-Gen Ibrahim Haruna (retired), Grand Patron, CERANY.
Buba-Marwa, represented by NDLEA’s Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, Mr Joseph Sunday, said the agency alone could not fight against drug abuse without the cooperation of the public.
According to him, if members of society collaborates with the agency in the fight against trafficking and abuse of illicit substances, NDLEA will ensure long-term prevention of the menace.
He said that the insights provided by the 2019 national drug use survey called for sober reflection, as it was worrisome that drug use prevalence in Nigeria stood at 14.4 per cent.
The NDLEA chairman stated that 14.4 per cent drug use in Nigeria was almost three times the global average of five per cent.
He lamented that 10.6 million citizens, mostly youths, were abusing cannabis and other illicit drugs.
He therefore called on all Nigerians to support the campaign against drug abuse among the youths, saying that drug abuse was a major factor propelling insecurity in the country.
He commended CERANY for the nationwide campaign, adding that the organisation would continue to dispense the much needed moral philosophies and social direction to the next generation for years to come.
Speaking, Haruna, said there was need for mobilisation of strategic civil action in collaboration with state actors to win the battle against drug abuse and insecurity.
He said that the nationwide campaign against drug abuse was in line with the objectives of the 2015-2019 National Drug Control Master Plan which sought to strengthen the current fight by the NDLEA.
“As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of CERANY, I wish to commend the foresight, patriotism and resilience of the founders.
“Before accepting to serve as grand patron, I did diligently acquaint myself with the vision and mission of CERANY.
“I am bold to say that the history, dogged efforts and pedigree of the leaders are among the key factors that endeared CERANY to me,” he said.
Haruna called on Nigerians to join in the effort toward retrieving youths from the evil grip of drug abuse, and also support the armed forces and other security agencies in the war against insecurity.
Earlier, CERANY President, Mr Chuks Akamadu, said that the vision of the organisation was birthed while he was at the University of Lagos in 2001 due to his passion for a better Nigeria.
Akamadu said that CERANY was out to compliment government’s effort in the fight against drug abuse and other immoral behaviours in society.
He called on government to eliminate all forms of illicit drug trafficking and abuse as well as insecurity, noting that if youths could be separated from drug abuse, crime would reduce.
“We are going on aggressive campaign nationwide against drug abus. We call on parents to pay attention to effective parenting and religious organisation should also create same awareness.
“We also want government to declare a state of emergency on drug abuse because this is what is fueling insecurity in the country,” he stressed.
The CERANY president commended NDLEA for giving the organsation strong backup and also thanked the UN office on drug and crimes for its drive against the menace.