BY ANAYO OKOLI
STAKEHOLDERS involved in the fight against drug abuse which has in many ways posed a major threat to the nation’s development met last week in Umuahia, the Abia State capital to brainstorm on ways to tackle the menace.
At the end of the session, they came up with a major position that the Federal Government should step up the funding of the fight against the menace. The stakeholders were drawn from the federal and state governments and representatives and officials of the 17 Local Government Areas of Abia State.
The Stakeholders unanimously agreed that no nation could afford to joke with the dangerous consequences of its citizens engaging in drug abuse. Led by members of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse, the interactive session agreed that drug abuse is one of the reasons Nigeria witnesses high level of crimes as most of the crimes are committed under the influence of illicit drugs.
Addressing the session, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu charged the participants to work hard and ensure that all hards are on deck to tackle the menace which they agreed was on the increase in the country.
Represented by his deputy, Ude Oko Chukwu, the governor also joined in the call for adequate funds for effective war against the menace of drug abuse and also tasked the media on the need for adequate public enlightenment on the evil effects of illicit drugs.
In her remarks, the leader of the Presidential Advisory Committee team, Mrs Wasilat Audu said that the Federal Government is conscious of the negative impact of drug abuse, especially on the healthcare delivery system.
She called for synergy between the federal, state and local governments in the effort to tackle the problem which poses a great threat to the nation’s development.
Also in his remarks, the Abia State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Akingbade Bamidele said that the command has been embarking on enlightenment campaign as well as confiscating and destroying illicit drugs and called for more assistance to enable them do more.