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Senate Committee Chair on Drugs, Narcotics expresses worry over menace of illicit drugs

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By Marie-Therese Nanlong

The Senator representing Plateau Central zone in the National Assembly, Nde Hezekiah Dimka has raised concern about the high rates of drug abuse and insecurity in the country, assuring that the 9th Senate would work assiduously to stem the menace in the society.

File: Results from the latest NOI Poll showed that 9 in 10 Nigerians believe the highest abusers of drugs and substance are teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 29 years old.It has also emerged true from this poll that the most abused substance in Nigeria is marijuana.

Senator Dimka, a retired Commissioner of Police and the Chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics noted that there is a linkage between drug consumption and insecurity hence the need for all stakeholders to work towards eradicating drug abuse especially among the youths.

The Senator, who spoke in Jos stressed he is willing to add value to the quality of legislation in the National Assembly, hence his choice of professionals who would conduct quality researches that would ensure relevant laws are made to address societal challenges.

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“It is a general concern that insecurity has taken over all our communities, it has been discovered that there is a linkage between insecurity and the consumption of drugs and narcotics. Drugs are responsible for the increased rate of insecurity and crime in Nigeria, as we have witnessed of late. The Senate is worried as we are all, which is why we shall be working assiduously to stem the tide; otherwise, we shall be swallowed if left unattended to.

“We are facing a youthquake. As a result of lack of employment, most youths are easily drawn to taking illicit substances, which do not stop at that alone since they do not have skills to engage themselves productively; they turn to crime. Skills give them a future; drugs and unemployment give and support the rise of the tide of insecurity. We must be united to fight the scourge in our communities through the provision of jobs and other skills to the youths to secure their future.”

Speaking on the need to strengthen the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, he stressed, “In some climes, the penalty for selling and the consumption of illicit drugs is death. It is on record that several Nigerians have faced the hangman’s noose in foreign countries as a result of drug trafficking. If the institution is strengthened here, the capacity to fight and ward off the youths will be appreciated.

“However, in a situation where the NDLEA’S capacity to mobilize to fight the crime is lacking, due largely to neglect and motivation; we shall continue to live with it. Not this time around, knowing that our communities are not immune to crime and criminality boosted by the availability of drugs at every corner.

“The National Drugs and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) would have been stronger had there been definite attention to strengthen their capacities for their activities at the headquarters, commands, and its training wing. The Senate is ready to change for the better the development that would give those engaged in sanitizing our communities of drugs. The institution deserves to be strengthened and reorganized for productivity.”

On the willing to work for the good of the people of his constituency, he added, “Our constituents, more than ever before, know what they want; and know how they should be treated. The journey to realizing a workable partnership is through the creation of a constituency office. Already, a constitutional lawyer who has a pedigree in law drafting, working in concert with his associates has been brought on board to assist in areas that would invigorate the system.

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“One area that has not helped our representatives is having quality research officers. In saner climes, representatives are able to present quality motions that are translated into bills as a result of the painstaking researches that go into it. It will be on record that the quality of presentations on motions and bills will be different from others. One of such areas which address technical education has been conceptualized by an expert who has spent about 35 years teaching and researching in that area.”


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