Segun Awofadeji in Gombe

A former State commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mohammed Kaka Jibrin has warned that Nigeria will soon get into an epidemic of drug abuse if the abuse of local substances are not checked.

Jibrin spoke yesterday during a one-day Northeast zone drug free campaign organised by Arewa Young Leaders Initiative in collaboration with Big Church Foundation held at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Gombe.

He noted that a recent research has revealed that Nigerian youth had long gone into the abuse of unconventional psychoactive substances such as pawpaw leaf, paint, glue and petrol.

Others, he listed included, correction fluid, rubber solution, nail polish/remover, kerosene, lizard fund/excreta, zakami (datura metal), soak-away or pit toilet fumes (biogenetic gas), unripe plantain bark, old newspapers, furniture polish ‘shisha’, sukodai (suck and die), gaddedi, goskolo, benylen+codeine, cement sniffing, licking of toad back, pineapple+milk and others.

The former NDLEA Commander expressed regret at the unfortunate situation where the agency is busy enforcing the provisions of its enabling law in collaboration with other security agencies, government and nongovernmental organisations to control the abuse of the conventional hard-drugs such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis among others.

while abuse of unconventional drugs mentioned above is gaining high momentum.

“Presently, the abuse of most of most of these unconventional substances is not under any legal control”, adding that, “they are taken either by inhaling from paper, plastic bags, saturated handkerchief, drink directly from the can or bottle.

“The absence of legislation against these substances coupled with their availability at little or no financial cost encourages the growing phenomenon of their abuse especially among the youth around the country”, he stated.

He made many recommendations and suggestions to include encouraging the youth to develop personal skills to resist drug abuse and called on government to provide laws against the abuse of unconventional substances.

“The National Assembly should amend the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency CAP N30 LFN, to incorporate new provision that will sanction the abuse of substances such as petrol, lizard excreta, gutter etc”, he admonished.