President Muhammadu Buhari, Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and one of his predecessors, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd), among other critical stakeholders, have condemned the rising menace of drug abuse and trafficking among youths in the country.
This is as traditional rulers in the country expressed their readiness to partner with the federal government in waging potent and sustainable war against the menace.
Available statistics shows Nigeria to be three times the world drug prevalence with 14.3million of her populace between the ages of 15- 64, indulging in it.
Speaking at the 11th General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, NCTRN, held in Abuja, President Buhari represented by his deputy, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said his government had in 2018 before the worrisome statistics indicating the rising wave of the menace, set up a Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse and Trafficking headed by General Marwa.
The committee, he added, came up with far reaching strategies and approaches that will soon be adopted by government in stemming the ugly tide.
“Very fundamental of the suggested strategies, is required intervention of traditional authority in combating the menace.
“Traditional rulers have crucial role to play in the ongoing war against drug abuse and trafficking being the closest institutions to the people.
“With traditional rulers on the same page with government in the war against the menace through community policing , it is our firm belief, that the rate of the menace , will drastically dropped in years to come with attendant multiplier effects on the rate of crimes generally on downward trend “, he said.
In his keynote address, General Marwa, said the menace of drug abuse is the worst of all problems, confronting the country today going by available statistics to that effect and realities on ground.
According to him, “Nigeria which was just a transit nation as at 2013, is now a full blown consumer nation.
He said: “The National Survey on Drug Abuse released in November 2018 by United Nations Organisation for Drugs and Crimes, UNODC in collaboration with the European Union, EU, Federal Ministry of Health and National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, churned out reports indicated that Nigeria is almost three times the world drug prevalence with 14.3 millions of her youths living on drugs.
“Specifically, the statistics established that there are out of the 14.3 million Nigerians on drugs, 10.6 million are addicted to cannabis, making it the most highly abused substance in the country.
“On Zonal basis, the drug use report further shows that South West geographical zone has the highest use prevalence rate of 22.4%, followed by South-South with 16.6%, South East 13.8%, North East 13.6%, North West 12% and North Central 10%,” he said.
In his remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu called on all stakeholders to adopt the policy of “see something, say something “as desired strategy of tackling all manner of crimes in the society.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Bayo Osiyemi, said “in Lagos State, see something, say something, is the password that has helped us achieve results in providing adequate security to the lives and properties of residents and investors for the benefit of all.”
Frontline traditional rulers like the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; and the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi, among others attended the function.
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