De­spite los­ing bil­lions, Nige­ri­ans still take to hard drugs

Drug abuse is a global phe­nom­e­non which ad­verse ef­fects cut across so­cio-eco­nomic dis­cuss. The re­cent de­struc­tion of 54.244 met­ric tons of banned drugs con­fis­cated from drug ped­dlers in Kano State was one of the mea­sures to curb this men­ace, re­ports.

Weekly Trust - - News | Feature - Ab­bas Ji­moh

The Se­nate last Oc­to­ber raised an alarm that the 19 North­ern states of the fed­er­a­tion were un­der se­ri­ous threat due to drug abuse. The law­mak­ers said that over three mil­lion bot­tles of codeine syrup were con­sumed daily in Kano and Ji­gawa states alone, a claim that was re­port­edly dis­puted by the Kano State Gov­ern­ment, which asked for the doc­u­men­tary ev­i­dence of such claim.

The Up­per Cham­ber also said that across the 19 states, women young girls in ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions, work­ing class ladies, some mar­ried, as well as un­em­ployed women dis­placed by Boko Haram in­sur­gency among oth­ers, were in­volved in drug abuse, and that in 2015 alone over 2,205 peo­ple were ar­rested in the North-West geo-po­lit­i­cal zone by the Na­tional Drug Law En­force­ment Agency (NDLEA) over drug-re­lated abuses.

The Se­nate’s alarm may have been an im­pe­tus to the re­cent pub­lic de­struc­tion of bil­lions of naira worth of 54, 233, 375 tons of seized il­licit drugs, by the Na­tional Drug Law En­force­ment Agency (NDLEA) op­er­a­tives in Kano.

Un­like other states where the ma­jor con­cern is cannabis sativa (also known as mar­i­juana among other names), the trend in Kano seems more com­plex in that seizure of mul­ti­ple drugs with all of them in con­sid­er­able quan­ti­ties, are recorded al­most on a daily ba­sis.

Speak­ing at the event the Chair­man of the NDLEA Col. Muham­mad Mustapha Ab­dal­lah (rtd.) de­cried the alarm­ing rate and mag­ni­tude of drug ad­dic­tion by some Nige­rian youth in re­cent times.

“In as much as the ton­nage of the seized drugs for de­struc­tion to­day (Tues­day) is a clear in­di­ca­tion of a good per­for­mance by NDLEA, for 54.244 met­ric tons of drugs to be in­ter­cepted from a par­tic­u­lar state in no such a long pe­riod of time is of un­ac­cept­able mag­ni­tude and quite wor­ri­some. It speaks of the ex­tent and preva­lence of th­ese deadly sub­stances in the state.

“In most states where we have car­ried out this ex­er­cise, the ma­jor drug of con­cern has been Cannabis sativa. The trend here is more com­plex in that we are talk­ing of seizures of mul­ti­ple drugs with all of them in con­sid­er­able quan­ti­ties. The quan­tity of Psy­chotropic sub­stances seized, stand­ing at 42 tons, is whop­ping. There have also been seizures of rea­son­able quan­ti­ties of co­caine and heroin in the state. Th­ese are cat­e­gory A drugs that are not pro­duced in the coun­try.” This Ab­dal­lah claims has de­stroyed many fam­i­lies in Nige­ria to­day.

Ac­cord­ing to him the pre­pon­der­ance of the abuse of psy­chotropic sub­stances in­clud­ing cough syrup laced with codeine, tra­madol and di­azepam is wor­ri­some

He said, “Sadly, all of us have be­come vic­tims of drug abuse, di­rectly or in­di­rectly. There is hardly any fam­ily in Nige­ria to­day not con­tend­ing with the chal­lenges of a drug de­pen­dent per­son. It is in the same vein that the en­tire so­ci­ety is bat­tling with the litany of so­cial vices and ex­treme vi­o­lence ag­gra­vated by sub­stance abuse.

“The in­creas­ing abuse of drugs among the youth and women across the coun­try has re­sulted in need­less deaths, stunt­ing youth ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reer, ren­der­ing them largely un­pro­duc­tive as they end up be­ing un­suited for gain­ful em­ploy­ment. The re­sult is that fam­i­lies are left be­mused and dev­as­tated. Young boys and girls have taken to mix­ing a phar­ma­copeia of chem­i­cal sub­stances in their drinks, he noted.”

He there­fore urged the cit­i­zenry and other stake­hold­ers to join hands with the agency to end the men­ace of drug abuse in the na­tion.

He said, “Only re­cently, our well re­spected Na­tional Assem­bly rose in uni­son in de­cry­ing the per­va­sive drug prob­lem. But it does seem that we have lamented over the drug prob­lem for too long, played the os­trich too of­ten and lived a life of de­nial. What we need is action and the time to act is now. What is re­quired is a con­certed ef­fort of rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment agen­cies, state gover­nors, Non-Gov­ern­men­tal Or­ga­ni­za­tions, tra­di­tional rulers, re­li­gious cler­ics, ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions and fam­i­lies to com­bat this men­ace.”

He com­mended the ef­forts of the Kano State gov­ern­ment for mak­ing no pre­tense about the drug prob­lem in the state and tak­ing ex­pected ac­tions.

Speak­ing ear­lier, the state gov­er­nor, Dr Ab­dul­lahi Umar Gan­duje, said, “As a gov­ern­ment, we are sup­port­ing NDLEA in this task es­pe­cially by putting up all se­cu­rity agen­cies in the state as a task force to curb this men­ace.”

He con­firmed that the state gov­ern­ment is build­ing a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre for NDLEA in the state, apart from two Toy­ota Hilux vans do­nated to the agency.

On his part, the Kano State Com­man­der of NDLEA, Al­haji

The Se­nate’s alarm may have been an im­pe­tus to the re­cent pub­lic de­struc­tion of bil­lions of naira worth of 54, 233, 375 tons of seized il­licit drugs, by the Na­tional Drug Law En­force­ment Agency (NDLEA) op­er­a­tives in Kano

Tons of banned drugs worth mil­lions of naira wait­ing to be de­stroyed

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.