By Festus Fifen.
As the Nation grapples with the challenges of insecurity across the geopolitical zones, which many have attributed to the negative effects of hard drugs, Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd.), has said there is the need for politicians seeking public offices and students seeking admission into higher institutions to be tested for drugs and other related intoxicants.
Marwa who said this in Abuja while delivering a paper, titled: Drug Abuse and National Security Challenge: Way Forward, as the guest speaker at the fifth anniversary lecture of Presidential Diary magazine said as elections come up across the country, there is the need for Nigerians to entrust the management of their treasury and their wellbeing in the hands of politicians that have clear minds because no public office holder under the influence of drugs can think straight.
The NDLEA Boss said because of the evidence-based connection between drug abuse and the security challenges across the country, concerted efforts must be made towards tackling the drug scourge headlong.
In his words, “In this regard, we are doing our best in our area of responsibility in the NDLEA. There has been a paradigm shift in our approach to controlled substances.
“In the past 100 days, operatives of the NDLEA nationwide have carried out non-stop offensive against drug trafficking, traffickers and abusers. We shall not relent in our objective of having a drug-free Nigeria. We have the conviction that if we can shut down the drug pipeline, cancel out the drug demand-drug supply equation and mop up the cache of illicit substances in our territory, the insecurity problem will be half solved.
“More importantly, our National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) has been tweaked to also focus on drugs from the perspective of public health and education issues. This way, we will be able to provide a balanced solution to the drug scourge.
“Due to the complex nature of the drug problem, we are also aware that we would not go far on this mission without the support of the public. That is why we are changing gears, to now say, let the public buy in and own the fight against controlled substances. We have decided to make the campaign the people’s war, so to speak; a case of the people of Nigeria versus drug barons, traffickers and abusers.
“To this end, we have set up some mechanisms, such as the Special Purpose Committee, that draws a pool of stakeholders to join the NDLEA in advocacy against illicit drugs.
“To this end, we have rejigged all our civil engagement mechanisms, such as the Drug-Free Clubs, and we have mounted a strong campaign for the entrenchment of the Drug Integrity Test as a social process that we all must go through,” he said.
“Compatriots, don’t let us fall into utter despair thinking we are helpless and at the mercy of the agents of disruptions. There is something every one of us can do to ameliorate the unacceptable state of insecurity of our country.
“The least you can do is to join the NDLEA in the advocacy against drug trafficking and abuse. That little effort, from all of us, put together, adds up to a momentous contribution that can tilt the balance against agents of destruction and destabilization working against the interest of this country,” he said.
The Event which was organised to celebrate the giant strides of the Presidential Diary Magazine over the last 5 years was well attended by notable Nigerians.
There were different categories of awards given to Nigerians who have made their marks in Nation Building.
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