NDLEA boss applauds lawmakers for rejecting Cannabis Bill
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd.), has commended members and leaders of the House of Representatives for rejecting, yet another attempt to push through, a bill to decriminalise cannabis cultivation, sale and use in Nigeria on the floor of the National Assembly on Thursday.
Responding to the development, yesterday, through a statement by the agency’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, Marwa said the decision by a majority of the lawmakers to reject the bill would further strengthen the gains so far made in the renewed war against drug abuse and trafficking in the country.
He said the 2018 drug survey figure of 10.6 million Nigerians abusing cannabis alone was enough to sound the alarm bell, adding that the strong nexus between drug abuse and the security challenges across the country was incontrovertible.
He said : “Insecurity is today, a full-blown malady with many manifestations such as insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, murder, robbery, reprisal killing, name it. Yet there has never been a government that is more committed to ending this spate of insecurity than th is administration. The President has matched political willpower with resources, but the scope and frequency of these acts of destabilisation and the audacity displayed by the perpetrators call for a second, critical look at the malaise.
“The persistence of the problem has forced on us to look at the likely extraneous factors that might be sustaining the resistance from the criminal elements and in doing so, try to connect the dots.
The permutations will lead to a list of probable causes, which will not exclude the use and abuse of illicit substances. In the final analysis, drug abuse is, indeed, one of the factors fueling insecurity. As such, Nigeria cannot afford to permit the cultivation, sale and use of the most abused illicit drug under whatever guise…”
“This is why the decision by the honorable members of the House of Representatives to reject the reintroduction of the cannabis bill is a welcome and cheering news to us in NDLEA and the Nigerian public especially parents who daily and silently contend with the pains of seeing millions of their kids and wards go down under the devastating effects of cannabis abuse.”
Marwa said history would never forget those who stood with the parents to protect their children from any legislation, under any shape or form, that would turn Nigeria to a nation of junkies and criminals, which would amount to taking a step forward and 10 steps backward in the prevailing circumstance.