Eliminate drug abuse, stakeholders tasked

By Fatima Muraina & Tola Gbadamosi
In a bid to eliminate drug abuse in the society, stakeholders have been charged to wage war against the menace.

The leader of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA) for the South West Prof, Oluwatoyin Odekun gave the charge during the week in Akure, the Ondo state capital

Odekun, who led the committee on an official visit to the state, observed that the menace has eaten deep in the South West zone which she said had the highest rate of the scourge in the country.

Her words: “And when you look at the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, South West also has the highest prevalence with 22.4 percent indicating that one in every four persons is a drug abuser”.

The statistics, she further said showed Lagos leading with about 33 percent, Oyo state with 27 percent, Ekiti 17, Ogun 17 and Ondo states with 17 percent respectively.

The security operatives in their reactions showed their readiness to cooperate with the committee to ensure that they eliminate drug abuse in the state and the society at large.

The Security operatives at the meeting advised government to address the challenges confronting their individual organisations for excellent performance.

The State Commander of the NDLEA, Mr Haruna Gagara said the menace if not addressed urgently, will later affect everybody.

“We must start to fight drug abuse and everybody must be involved and particularly from the home, which is the nucleus of the society”, he said.

He observed that  crime and criminology cannot be separated from drug abuse.

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Gagara, who presented an address at the meeting, reeled out many of their challenges and recommended for an increment in funding of NDLEA, provision of adequate logistics, staff welfare and regular recruitments among others.

The State Coordinator of NAFDAC, Mr Kenneth Azikiwe said his organisation will intensify its collaboration with relevant agencies  towards eradicating drug abuse from the society.

He said such collaborations will involve educating the stakeholders and ensuring that drugs are handled by trained professionals.

“We will ensure that control drugs are made available to only those who need them at the time they need them and are not taken to the point of getting them abused”, he said.

Also, the representative from the Department of State Services, Mrs Abiodun Mayowa, stressed the need for a strict anti-drug legislation and policies, adding that the security personnel should be adequately  taken care of, so that the society can enjoy their services.

Others who spoke were representatives from the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Prisons, Nigeria Customs Service, NSCDC, Immigration and Man’O’ War among others.

The Advisory Committee also extended its interaction to the State Ministries of Health, Information, Youths and Sports, NOA, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Market Women, TUC, Parents and students .

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