March 4, 2022

Nigerians abuse drugs 3 times higher than global average, says UNODC 

Nigerians abuse drugs 3 times higher than global average, says UNODC 

Insurgents in North East funded from illicit drug trade – NDLEA Chairman By Peter Duru, Makurdi The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd.) has disclosed that findings indicated that insurgents in the North East were getting funding from illicit drug sales to carry out their dastardly acts. Col. Abdullah hinted that aside being the source of funding the crisis was also being fueled by drug addiction. The chairman who made the disclosed Thursday in Makurdi during the public destruction of hard drug exhibits seized by the Benue state Command of NDLEA said the government was doing everything to apprehend all those involved in the illicit drug trade as well as ensure the rehabilitation of the end users. “The insurgency in the North East is being fueled by drug addiction. The insurgents do not only consume it, they also use it as a source of their funds to carry out their dastardly acts in that part of the country. “As serious as the situation is Government is the not giving up on drug baron and their users. While the barons will be hunted and appropriately dealt with according to the law, the users who are usually victims of illicit trafficked drugs will be identified, treated and rehabilitated and integrated into the society to make them useful members to themselves and the wider society,” he said. Col. Abdullah who decried the quantity of the illicit drugs recovered in Benue state said, “it is indeed unfortunate that the land and manpower that could have been used to cultivate agricultural products to provide food security for the nation is diverted to cultivate cannabis a destructive substance. This does not portend well for the Benue state appellation ‘the food basket of the nation’. Earlier, the State Commander of the Agency, Mrs. Florence Ezeonye said the Command was destroying “a total of 28.01 tones (28,019.64kg) of drugs comprising of cannabis sativa, narcotic and psychotropic substances.” The Commander who expressed joy at the successes recorded by her Command in recent time sued for more collaboration from all stakeholders to effectively confront the monster of illicit drug business in the state. She observed that one third of the seized drugs were from rural farmers a development she said was alarming and a source of worry in the fight against the drug menace. Governor Samuel Ortom who was represented by his Deputy, Benson Abounu lamented that drug abuse among the youths had become a major reason for all forms of social vices and criminality in the country. “That is why we must take every action necessary to pull them out of these illicit habit and bring them to where they will stand straight and lead lives that would better position them for leadership,” he said. Dignitaries setting fire on the illicit substances

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, on Friday, raised the alarm that illicit drug use  in the country is almost three times higher than the global average.

Country representative of the organization, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, made the disclosure during the official launch of the UNODC strategic vision for Nigeria 2030, at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja.

He maintained that the increased rate of insecurity and crime in the country could be traced to drug use prevalence, expecially among youths.

READ ALSO: Pictures: Nigerian students arrive from Ukraine

According to him, “Nigeria faces serious multi-dimensional challenges to security and the rule of law.

“Boko Haram and other terrorist groups target innocents in the North-East and across the Sahel, while piracy — despite progress in 2021 — continues to plague the Gulf of Guinea.

“Organized crime groups take advantage of security gaps to exploit people and smuggle illicit goods, including firearms and drugs, threatening lives, communities, and the environment.

“Corruption and illicit financial flows enable crime and terrorism, and deprive people of opportunities, while impunity perpetuates these challenges and undermines public trust.

“Meanwhile, drug use prevalence in Nigeria stands at almost 15 percent — almost three times higher than the global average.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has only further complicated the situation.

“In Nigeria it is estimated to have driven more than 10 million people into poverty this year, increasing their vulnerability to crime, drugs and violent extremism,” he added.

The UNODC country representative stressed that to address the situation in a sustainable way, “it is critical to strengthen the broad framework of responses, including laws, institutions, capacities, and awareness.”

He added that the organization’s strategic vision for Nigeria was structured to achieve the purpose.

“After extensive consultations with government partners, donors, civil society, and other stakeholders, I am confident that we have identified what Nigeria needs from us, and how we can get it done”, Stolpe stated.

In his remarks, the Director-General of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa, Rtd, said the Federal Government would not relent in its efforts to tackle transnational crimes, among which he said included drug trafficking.

Likewise, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, urged relevant stakeholders to support the UNODC in implementing its strategic vision for Nigeria.

Vanguard News