Fight against drugs: Rights group seeks support for NDLEA
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has appealed for support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to enable it rid the country of illicit drugs.
MURIC said that the fight against illicit drugs peddling and intake must be won to save Nigerian youths from drug-induced crimes, self destruction and curbing youths involvement in insurgency.
MURIC made the appeal in a document signed by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in Lagos on Saturday.
The rights group, which commended the drug-fighting agency for its dogged fight against illicit drugs, solicited support for it from the Federal Government (FG), state governments, institutions and individuals to enable it meet its obligation to the Nigerian public.
“We are worried by the increasing wave of violence in the country. More disturbing is the rate of drug abuse among adults, both males and females.
“We see a nexus between the high crime rate in Nigeria and drug addiction. The symbiotic relationship between crime and drug can easily be gleaned from happenings in countries like Mexico, Italy, Peru, Columbia, Guatemala, Venezuela and El Salvador where drug cartels and drug gangs kill at will.
“The Nigerian government must quickly rise to the challenge by giving all necessary support to the NDLEA to save Nigeria from being like one of those drug-infested countries of Latin America and Europe.
The Federal Government should adopt a holistic approach to tackling the monster which threatens to swallow up social order.
“Already, the signs are not so good as the statistics are alarming. Psychoactive substances, particularly cannabis, morphine, codeine and tramadol are consumed with reckless abandon by Nigerians. At least, 14.4 per cent of the total population or 14.3 million Nigerians within the range of 15 and 64 years are drug users, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
“Drug abuse is found to be most common among those between the ages of 25 and 39 years. Unfortunately 27 per cent of the users are youths who should face their studies or trainings,” it said.
It noted that the Nigerian authorities should see serious danger in the statistics because it tends to beat world records. Global annual use is estimated at 5.6 per cent among the adult population.
It regretted that drug use was responsible for the increase in criminality in Nigeria. It is also behind high suicide rate in the country. Besides, Nigeria’s efforts at facing the rising challenge of insecurity may remain a pipe dream unless the government tackles the drug saga headlong.
“The Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa-led NDLEA has been doing well and needs to be given all the support to rescue the society.”