From Magnus Eze, Enugu
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said Nigeria need proper rehabilitation centres to effectively wage the war against drug abuse and trafficking in illicit substances.
This is as the Agency said that a legislation of the National Assembly was required to implement its proposed mandatory drug test for politicians.
Speaking on this year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Enugu State Commander of NDLEA, Bassey Anietie, appealed to the Federal Government to build rehabilitation centres with occupational skills sections for effective rehabilitation of drug users before reuniting them in the society.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd) had indicated that the Agency was considering testing politicians of drug use ahead of the 2023 general elections.
But the Enugu State Commander explained that legislative backing was imperative to avoid infringement on human rights and other issues.
“We have such intension but can’t just do that without an enabling Act of the National Assembly. We also know that it has to do with human rights. So, we can only contemplate such test for drug use when we have an Act empowering us to do so.”
On the drug situation in the state, Anietie said the Agency had made appreciable improvement from its last year’s records.
According to him, the state command between July 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022, arrested 130 suspects for drug related offences-124 males and six females, adding that it secured 97 convictions while many other suspects were awaiting trial.
Regarding seizures, Anietie disclosed that in the period under review, 90.2grams of cocaine, Methamphetamine (957.58grams); psychotropic substances (5.469kg) and Cannabis Sativa (845,839kg) were confiscated.
He further revealed that 36 ‘persons who use drugs’ were rehabilitated and reunited with their families while 18 others were still undergoing rehabilitation.
He noted that the command was able to join the rest of the world in marking this year’s Anti-Drug Day despite the countless challenges confronting the Agency including paucity of funds, inadequate logistics, and lack of standard rehabilitation centres, among others.