By Edoamaowo Udeme
THE National Alliance Against Drug Abuse, NAADA, has urged the Federal Government to declare drug abuse a national emergency.
Making the call at a conference it held to commemorate the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the organiser, Mr. Chucks Akamudu who is also President, Center for Ethical Rebirth Among Nigerian Youths, said youths are targeted they would be the foot-soldiers to battle the menace.
“Government effort will remain inadequate until there is collaboration among the three tiers of government and it must be expanded to create a linkage between State and Non-State actors.
“The threats posed by drug abuse to society is real present and alarming, the least it deserves is a strategic, sustainable alliance by stakeholders,”
Further, he said the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes, UNDOC, in its 2014 World Drug Report rated Nigeria number one in Cannabis Sativa seizure, while the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Kaduna, states that six million bottlers of codeine expectorant were sold in the North-Western part of the country daily, While NDLEA in 2015 alone seized drugs worth N22 billion.
“It is high time the Federal Government found the courage to acknowledge the inadequacies of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the daunting task of arresting and possibly reversing the deepening drug abuse trend in the country” he added.
The Deputy Governor of Niger State, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, urged youths to shun the habit and appealed that adequate searchlight be beamed to Niger state as well as other parts of the north. Ketso urged that attention should be paid to pharmacists and patent dealers.
The Niger State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jibrin Mustapha said task forces have been set up to tackle counterfeit drugs while pointing out that Benylin and codeine has since taken over the use of Marijuana.
A video documentary aired shows that statistically the Northern the South-East parts of the country has the highest abusers of drugs, and with the former DG, NDLEA pointing out that in Kano, 7 out of 10 youths can test positive to drugs while calling on the same priority given to Boko Haram be given to drug abuse in the Northern part of the country.