When President Muhammadu Buhari described drug trafficking and abuse as being “worse than insurgency and banditry”, he sought to draw the attention of Nigerians to the depth of danger that this menace poses to society.
Hard drugs are part of the fuels that ignite the spirit to embrace enterprises usually thought of as impossible for normal individuals. These include illicit and unnatural sex or pornograhic acts, the slaughter and dismemberment of fellow human beings, destruction of people’s farms, kidnapping for ransom, traffic robbery in the glare of daylight, the callous use of firearms and cultism. These are some of the crimes threatening the fabric of our society and the future of our country.
President Buhari made his remark while launching the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, which the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, had packaged to mark this year’s United Nations World Day Against Drug Abuse in Abuja. The president observed: “I have seen clips where grandparents are on drugs, parents are on drugs and by extension their wards, their children are on drugs…(this) is a war that is targeting three generations in a stretch”.
The UN set aside June 26 every year to call the world’s attention to the danger of drug abuse. This year’s theme is: “Share Facts on Drugs, Save Lives”. It emphasises that the war on drugs is not a job for governments alone.
It is also for individuals, corporate bodies, communities and organisations to join the global effort to raise awareness. We are all called upon to know the facts, ensuring we get the correct facts from verified sources such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC and using all available channels to disseminate same.
While we should intensify law enforcement activities, the real job is to grapple with the issues that lead people to need these hard drugs. Poverty and joblessness are very easily identifiable culprits. The devil is very good at getting “jobs” for idle hands. A person who is gainfully employed will not have the time to indulge in such things.
Hard drugs push young people to abandon the comfort of their homes and join terrorists and live like wild animals in the bush to attack their own kith and kin in pursuit of nonsensical religious ideologies.
We must restore the functionality of the family unit in this era where the internet has brought to our fingertips all sorts of alien cultural practices and fads. Our youth are being exposed to these influences at very early stages. In Africa, the family and the community at large play their roles in building the character of people to be the best they can.
These are things we must revive, otherwise our society will become completely unhinged and our future endangered.