The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Retired Col. Muhammad Abdallah, has called on state governments to partner with the agency to address the scourge of drug trafficking and abuse.
Abdallah, made the call in Abuja on Monday in a statement issued by Mr Jonah Achema, Head of Public Affairs Unit of the NDLEA.
According to him, drug is a big threat to our youths and by extension, our national security.
“There are state governments that still believe that NDLEA is a national or Federal Government organisation and as such if the Federal Government cannot provide the resources needed by the agency in the respective state to fight drugs, the states cannot assist.
“It is obvious that such state governments are mortgaging the future of their youths. It is important for all state governments to join forces with the NDLEA to fight drug in their respective states.
“A treatment and rehabilitation centre is the last hope for a drug-dependent person, who ordinarily would have been consigned to misery and death.
“Drug abuse is not a death sentence any longer in that a drug-dependent person can be treated, rehabilitated and fully reintegrated into the society to become useful again.
“This, however, is at an enormous cost, thus underscoring the principle that treatment works but prevention works better.
“We have come to a level where it is only through an all-inclusive approach that we can truly exterminate the challenges of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
“I have full confidence that we can outlive the menace of drug abuse and tyranny of drug criminal entrepreneurs when the whole society and the whole government prioritise the problem, ‘’ the NDLEA chairman said.
Abdallah said that the recent seizure by the agency of almost a billion tablets of illicit Tramadol in one fell swoop was a testimony that there was still much to be done to address this challenge.
He also said that the extent of the menace of drug abuse across the country and its attendant burden on law enforcement, the criminal justice system, counselling, treatment and rehabilitation, as well as the health, social and economic burdens were enormous.
“Aggressive behaviour, crimes and criminalities that we have experienced in recent times have festered with corresponding influx of illicit drugs.
“This has accounted for the mind-boggling drug seizures over time by the NDLEA, ‘’ he said.
Abdallah said that investigation had shown that most of the seized drugs were destined for violent-prone parts of the country.
“Reports have also shown that the Nigerian military has continued to recover dangerous drugs, especially cannabis, cough syrup with Codeine and illicit Tramadol from terrorist camps.
The Chairman, however, noted that the agency would not relent in its effort to ensure the country was free of drug and drug peddlers.