The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen Buba Marwa, says the agency will continue to crackdown on all sources of illicit substances in Nigeria.
Marwa disclosed this on Friday during the inauguration of a Behavioural Action Care Foundation Centre in Ogbomodo.
Read call that the Behavioural Centre was built by the Ogbomoso First Group, under its community initiative.
“We, in the NDLEA, will continue to crackdown on all sources of illicit substances in the country. We will deny their exportation, we will seize them when we find them and will destroy them,” he said.
Marwa lamented the prevalence in use of illicit substances, saying the war against it must be a collective effort.
”There is no community in this country that has not suffered from this debilitating disease of drug use, drug abuse and addiction.
“We have 14.4 percent of Nigerians between the ages of 16 to 64 who are using drugs, this is three times the global average. Zonally, the South-West has the worst prevalence.
“The prevalence in the South-West geo-political zone is 22.4 per cent. Oyo State in particular is 23 per cent. This is followed by the South-South with the prevalence of 16.6 per cent and the South-East 14.8 per cent.
“This is followed by the North-East with 18.6 per cent, North-West 12 per cent and North-Central 10 per cent. Kano has a prevalence of 16 per cent. This rate is very high considering its population,” he said.
The NDLEA chairman called on parents and other stakeholders to always demand drug-free certificate as a requisite for marriage as well as other important programmes.
He commended the Ogbomoso group and traditional rulers for their support.
NAN reports that Marwa in company with Ogbomoso First Group members, had earlier paid homage to the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Jimoh Oyewole and Onpetu of Ijeruland, Oba Sunday Oladapo.
Oyewole thanked Marwa and the Ogbomoso group for their contributions to the town, saying they would also do all within their capability to support them in thewar against the menace.
He called on people to ensure the fight against illicit drugs begins from their homes.
Oladapo, on his part, called on the NDLEA boss to take the war against illicit drugs to a new dimension, for the benefit of the society.
“A drug-free society is a prosperous society and that is why we will do all within our ability to support your effort to fight the menace.
“As we are doing that, I want to implore you to look ahead and see how we can move forward from the way we’ve been operating. The way we’ve been fighting this war.
“Let us look for a new dimension to improve the system and what good can be brought out of these so called rot,” he said.
Former Gov. Adebayo Alao-Akala and Sen. Ayoade Adeseun, in their separate goodwill messages, lauded Marwa for transforming the NDLEA.
They also commended the Ogbomoso First Group for the laudable initiative and its contributions to the development of the area.
Mr Olusegun Adekunle, the President, Ogbomoso First Group, bemoaned the alarming rate of drug abuse and addiction among the youth.
He said that the centre, which was part of the group’s community initiative, was aimed at rehabilitating those who might be suffering from drug abuse or addiction.