Deji Elumoye and Udora Orizu in Abuja
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, has given reason for the lingering insecurity in the country saying it is the funding activities of drug barons who provide insurgent groups such as Boko Haram, bandits and kidnappers with arms and ammunition to carry out criminal activities.
Lawan stated this Thursday when he received in audience the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), General Buba Marwa (Rtd)
He said such drug barons who engage in trafficking heroine, cannabis and cocaine had made Nigeria a major transit route for plying the illicit trade.
The Senate President, therefore, called for the restructuring of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), so as to further empower it to rise to the occasion of clamping down on the criminal activities of drug traffickers.
He assured that the National Assembly would support the agency in the aspect of amending the NDLEA Act with a view to enabling the agency achieve its core mandates.
Speaking on the drug addiction rate in the country, Lawan underscored the need for multi-dimensional efforts across the various agencies of governments aimed at tackling underlying causes such as illiteracy, unemployment and poverty, responsible for the exposure of youths to criminal tendencies.
He also advocated for the inclusion of Drug Education in the curricular for schools and institutions of learning in Nigeria.
Earlier in his speech, NDLEA Chairman said the Ninth Senate under the leadership of Lawan has displayed great support and effort on the review of the NDLEA Act.
According to him, it is very important to correct some of the lapses in the Act that was promulgated way back in 1989, warning that Nigeria is currently in a state of siege.
Marwa said: ”The drug affliction is actually the number one problem we are facing, it is everywhere. First of all, it destroys our kids, women, our youths, and the family system. Secondly, it is behind the criminalities everywhere now.
You have to be crazy to commit some of these criminalities, and what fuels it is drug abuse. Even the insurgents and bandits themselves, they take drugs before they go into their activities.”