Governor Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi
A consultant in the Department of Psychiatry, University Teaching Hospital (UTC), Ado Ekiti, Dr L.O. Oluwole, has said that about 2.5 million people died of alcohol and other dangerous drugs out of 190 million estimated consumers of the dangerous drugs last year.
He gave the indication Wednesday in Ado Ekiti while delivering a lecture to commemorate the 2011 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
In the account of the psychiatrist, drug abuse accounted for over 3.8 percent of the death being recorded across the globe yearly, calling on government at all levels to support the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to combat the menace of drug abuse.
Also, in his contribution, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the hospital, Dr Deji Ajayi, , expressed fear that unless the trend is curbed in earnest, the gradual depletion of the Nigerian workforce is imminent, especially among the active population.
Challenging the parents and guardians on the need to coalesce efforts with all relevant agencies to nip the rising wave of drug abuse in the bud, Ajayi said poor parental care is a contributory factor to drug addiction among the youths.
In his speech, NDLEA Commander in the state, Mr Bamidele Akingbade , disclosed that about 424 acres of cannabis plantation had been destroyed at various locations across the 16 Local Government Areas of the state since his assumption of office barely a year ago.
He endorsed the Governor Kayode Fayemi’s proposed conversion of some notorious spots in Ado Ekiti, especially Atikankan that has become a beehive for criminals and drug peddlers, to a trade centre to rid the spot of criminal activities.
Akingbade appealed to the state government and the farmers to be passionate about drug war, describing Ekiti as one of highest consumer and grower of cannabis in the country.
He named Oye Ekiti , Ise, Ikere and Ado Ekiti as local government known for the cultivation of the crops.
He said the business has now become so profitable in the State to the extent that a bag of cannabis is now sold for N28, 000, instead of N8, 000 in some market.
The NDLEA boss disclosed that foreigners from Cotonou and other neighbouring countries are now making inroad into Nigeria to plant the dangerous weeds.
“You may not be taking dangerous drugs, but the activities of the abusers used to affect us. We also have daughters and sons who can be victims of rape, robbery and other similar vices that are associated with consumers of cannabis and Alcohol.
“Out of 5-10 psychiatry patients being brought to the hospital in Ekiti , about 3 or 7 of them are victims of drug abuse, so you can now realize that the drug war in Ekiti is a must win.”