President Tinubu Urges Nigerians to Join Forces Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking

Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has called on Nigerians to redouble efforts in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking in the country.

He also urged support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in its fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

A statement on Wednesday by the Director of Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said the President gave the charge on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Abuja.

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, the President said, “I enjoin all and sundry to support the War Against Drug Abuse initiative, otherwise known as the WADA campaign, launched by NDLEA three years ago. I commend and urge everyone to redouble efforts to combat drug abuse and trafficking in the country.

“On this score, I wish to reassure you of this administration’s support. The Renewed Hope Agenda places the youth at the centre of its focus. Therefore, we ensure that our young people are protected from anything that could derail their future or destroy their potential.”

The President also called for the prioritisation of evidence-based prevention strategies for drugs in the country.

“In the face of such a formidable challenge, prevention is the most potent weapon to deploy. Prevention not only saves lives; it also saves resources that would otherwise be spent on treatment and rehabilitation.

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“The assignment before us as a country requires that we prioritise evidence-based prevention strategies, allocate adequate resources and foster partnerships for greater impact.”

In his welcome remark, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (retd), said the agency was not relenting in cutting off illicit drug supply channels and dismantling trafficking networks.

“After all, when you cut off drug supplies, you deny users the availability and access to them, including insurgents, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and sundry criminals who rely on drugs to foster their criminalities.

“The magnitude of our effort is reflected in the statistics of our drug supply reduction activities. We have arrested 52,901 drug traffickers, including 48 barons, in three and a half years. Over 9,000 of the suspects have been convicted in court. We have also seized over the same period 7.6 million kilogrammes of assorted illicit substances,” he said.

Meanwhile, a rights group, Hope Beyond Bars Africa, has kicked against the proposed death sentence for drug offences in the country.

The group, in a statement on Wednesday by its Executive Director, Oluwafunke Adeoye, said apart from not being deterrence enough, it was against global best practices.

“On this International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we reaffirm our commitment to uphold human rights and human dignity and to promote justice that restores.

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“Hope Behind Bars Africa firmly opposes the introduction of the death penalty for drug offences in Nigeria. There is a global trend towards abolition of the death penalty, especially for non-violent crime.

“Also, several comprehensive studies and reports highlight the lack of a significant deterrent effect associated with the death penalty for drug trafficking. We urge the National Assembly to reconsider this bill and focus on progressive, humane, and effective solutions to address the drug endemic,” she said.

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