THE chairman of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier.-General Buba Marwa, has said that 15 million Nigerians indulge in the consumption of illicit drugs.
Marwa disclosed this in Jos, during an interactive session with local government chairmen in Plateau State. He decried the surge in the distribution and consumption of illicit substances, adding that one out of seven Nigerians indulged in drug abuse.
Describing the trend as “shameful”, Marwa, who also paid a courtesy call on Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau said that the agency had put modalities on ground to curb the menace, noting that the surge in drug abuse had destroyed many youths and communities, hence the rationale for the interactive session.”
According to him, “as I speak to you, 15 million Nigerians use illicit drugs; one out of seven Nigerians take hard substances. There is no community in Nigeria that is exempted from drug abuse and this is why we keep having security challenges here and there.
“Drug propels a lot of negative actions particularly among young people; it is destroying our youths and even the communities. So, we have come to interact with local government chairmen, so that together we can find a lasting solution to this menace. We want the chairmen to work with and support us to kick this hydra headed monster called drug abuse out of our society.”
Responding, Lalong said the NDLEA has done a lot in Nigeria and in particular Plateau State by arresting drug kingpins who at one time thought they were untouchable, noting that this had reduced the rate of violent crimes in the state.
He appealed to Marwa to intensify efforts in helping the state avoid being used as a transit state for narcotics as well as handle the rehabilitation of those already affected.
The chairman of Jos North local Government, Mr Shehu Usman, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, commended Marwa for organising the interactive session, maintaining that such move would go further to create awareness on the dangers of drug abuse and other vices.