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Tackling Drug Abuse: Key to Nigeria’s Security, Prosperity

Sensitization Drive Focuses on Youths, Women in Abuja

by Adenike Adeodun

Retired Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, currently serving as the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has identified drug abuse among Nigerians as a critical factor fueling insecurity across the nation. This statement was made during a sensitization and advocacy program aimed at women and youths in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. The event, reported by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was a collaborative effort between the NDLEA and Dr. Aminu Gusau, facilitated under the platform of WADA.

Marwa’s insights were conveyed by the Director of Drug Demand Reduction, Assistant Commandant General of Narcotics (ACGN), Dr. Ngozi Madubuike, who represented him. The NDLEA chief highlighted the alarming rise in drug abuse among various demographics in Nigeria, including young people, females, and rural inhabitants. He stressed that the youth, embodying society’s vibrancy, adventurous spirit, and potential, play a dual role in both societal development and the genesis of various challenges.

The connection between drug abuse and criminal activities such as armed robbery, murder, kidnapping, and banditry was emphasized, pointing out that these issues are further exacerbated by drug-induced decisions leading to burglary and engagement in sex work. Marwa underscored the diverse reasons youth turn to drugs, ranging from relaxation and curiosity to performance enhancement, urging them to eschew drug abuse due to its detrimental impact on health and future prospects.

The sensitization program received a commendation from Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, who recognized the importance of the chosen topic against the backdrop of rising insecurity, marking a particularly challenging period. Represented by his Special Assistant on intergovernmental issues, Mr. Bala Chafe, Dr. Aminu Gusau echoed the sentiment that drug abuse significantly contributes to the region’s security woes. He pointed out that the target audience of the program, primarily vulnerable youths and women, are often the victims of this societal menace, which fuels various social problems, including kidnapping, banditry, and armed robbery.

Dr. Gusau, co-organizer of the event, elaborated on the complexity of drug abuse as a global issue that not only poses severe health risks but also drives socioeconomic challenges. He reinforced the idea that youth are instrumental to the nation’s future and nation-building efforts. The adverse effects of drug use among young people, he argued, could hinder national growth and development, lead to decreased productivity, escalating crime rates, and burden the healthcare system.

The call to action was clear: to educate, empower, and support women and youths towards making informed choices and leading healthy lifestyles. This initiative, witnessed by a diverse audience including students from various secondary schools, underscores the collective responsibility of all societal segments—parents, educators, the public, and the youth themselves—to combat the scourge of drug abuse. It’s a battle that necessitates a unified approach to safeguard the peace, progress, and development of the nation’s youth and, by extension, the future of the country.

By addressing the root causes and providing the necessary support and education, the NDLEA and its partners aim to stem the tide of drug abuse and its consequent impact on security and societal well-being. This program marks a crucial step towards mobilizing a national response to a problem that, left unchecked, threatens to undermine the very fabric of Nigerian society. Through such initiatives, the NDLEA seeks to foster a safer, healthier, and more secure future for all Nigerians, demonstrating the critical link between drug demand reduction and national security.


Source: The Guardian

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