The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has taken the campaign to schools, streets and markets in the country, to educate the people on the dangers of consuming illegal drugs and drug trafficking.
The Chairman, NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd), said this in his address of welcome at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
Abdallah, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Femi Oloruntoba, noted that the campaign was launched in commemoration of 2019 International Day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking, slated for June 26.
Abdallah said that the personnel of NDLEA, saddled with the implementing the laws on illicit traffic and abuse of drugs, had worked diligently and in many cases paid the supreme price.
According to him, such price is aimed at ensuring drugs are taking off the streets in the country.
He said that the theme of this year’s event, “Health for Justice; Justice for health’’ would address three broad issues: Drug-dependent persons having access to the treatment they need.
The Chairman said it would also address the issue of connecting drug prevention as well as building knowledge for Justice and health.
He added that it would also provide an opportunity to know what the government and other stakeholders were doing to address the scourge and its consequences.
“The theme presupposes that effective responses to the challenges of drug require inclusive and accountable institutions of criminal justice, health and social services to work together to provide integrated solutions.
“Nigeria is a signatory to all the three international conventions aimed at addressing the drug problem.
“The country has also domesticated the conventions and has put in place an institutional framework to address the problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
“The Programme is a one week full of activities and today, Thursday, June 20, we shall be going to Government Secondary School, GSS Wuse Zone 3, Abuja and then proceed to Nyanya market to sensitise the market women and men.
“We shall be going to IDP camps, motor parks, farmers and hunters and the University of Abuja; starting from Friday, June 21 to Tuesday, June 25 to create awareness among others.
Abdallah said that the 2019 international day against drug abuse and drug trafficking was in partnership with MTN through MTN foundation.
He said that MTN, in the realisation of its corporate social responsibility had, since the beginning of 2019, engaged in drug prevention education and sensitisations across the country.
The NDLEA boss said that the agency had collaborated at bilateral and multilateral levels with other countries to address the drug problem.
“There is no doubt that much has been done in the country to solve this problem but I will say “we need to do more,’’ he said.
Contributing, the Manager, Legislative Affairs and Corporate Relations, MTN, Mr Usman Jahun, said that the organisation had since January 2019 been sensitising the public on the menace of drug abuse.
Jahun expressed optimism that the partnership would yield a positive result and bring about positive changes to the nation at large.
“We launched a campaign tagged “Anti- Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP) and it has been on since January 2019.
“We want to make sure we rid the country of drug abuse and drug trafficking.
“We hope to eradicate the menace of drug abuse and ensure Nigeria is safe from drug-related issues.