In a bid to curb the menace of drug abuse in the country, chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd), has said Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is in dire straits and need total overhauling.
Speaking while paying an advocacy visit to the Lagos State Ministry of Health, with his team, in a bid to chart a way forward, commended all stakeholders, while urging Lagos State government to keep the pace.
He said: “A country where youths strive on drugs abuse is in deep trouble. These active youths are part of the society and you can find them in our homes, schools, market places and other social places.
“In recent development, kidnappers ask, as part of ransom, substance of drugs among other request before they will release their victims. Be that as it may, it is not beyond political will as the federal government is at it.”
While saying about 500 active drug users were addressed recently in Kano, Marwa revealed that the Federal Government are focusing on sustainability and implementation of programme to combat drugs abuse.
He urged critical stakeholders, including local government heads and community leaders, to establish committees of drug abuse at all levels that will serve as interface to the state.
“These committees should work against stigmatization, particularly, as it affects women more in working centres,” he added.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, on his part, said the menace of drug abuse in Lagos was enormous.
He said the state government was doing everything to combat the menace.
While linking public health to advocacy education, Idris said the investment of government in the health and education sector was poor, insisting that without addressing investment in these two social areas, “we are wasting our time.”
Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Hon. Agboola Dabiri, said those on drugs were worst than Boko Hararm.