FIGHTING DRUG TRAFFICKING AND ABUSE
Drug trafficking and abuse are deadly monsters and as well a threat to peace, security and stability of a nation.
It is a global problem that has eaten deep into the security and moral fabrics of many nations of the world. There’s hardly any country in the world that doesn’t battle one drug related issue or the other.
Drug trafficking and abuse are Siamese twins. If drug trafficking can be nipped in the bud, drug abuse will as well be reduced to the barest minimum. In Nigeria, drug abuse has remained a dangerous enabler of many crimes and vices.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the government agency in charge of arresting and prosecuting drug offenders has been doing wonderfully well. They have been on top of the game most especially since Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd.) assumed office as the helmsman.
The onslaught on drug traffickers since he came into office has been highly commendable. There have been tremendous transformation of the operational architecture of the agency and hence mind boggling successes recorded.
Drug traffickers are well convinced that it’s no more business as usual. They have been hard hit.
The re- jigged operational procedure where numerous arrests and seizures have become the order of the day has no doubt sent many traffickers packing while the hard -hearted ones have continued even while nursing their wounds as a result of multi- billion naira losses.
There’s no week that passes by that one doesn’t read in newspapers or hear on Television channels of multiple arrests and seizures of illicit drugs across the states of our dear country. At land borders, seaports, airports, etc., drug peddlers keep applying different modes of concealment to beat the security agencies but the Marwa administration has consistently beaten them to it.
Going by the recent press release by the Director of Media and Advocacy of the NDLEA (Femi Babafemi), two businessmen were last week arrested for drug ingestion at the Abuja Airport and both excreted 193 pallets of cocaine after three days of observatory custody and 185 other drug suspects were arrested at different locations across FCT and Kano State. These merchants of death are die hard criminals who will stop at nothing to make money. It is mind boggling sometimes the way NDLEA discovers unthinkable modes of drug concealment. I doff my cap for the agency for their resilience and doggedness in this fight against drug trafficking and abuse. My charge is that General Marwa and his men must not rest on their oars until drug trafficking and abuse is stamped out of our country.
Despite the achievements recorded in the area of arrests and seizures, there still remain more grounds to be covered against drugs. Such places like palaces, churches, market places, labour unions, schools should be explored for an elaborate sensitisation with the aim of collaborating with heads of the various institutions mentioned above.
Traditional rulers should be actively involved in the fight against drug in their domains. It will go a long way to reduce the way hard drugs and other substances of abuse are tackled in their communities.
Religious institutions must be encouraged to live up to their expectation as the moral compass of the society. As such they can take part in drug preventive programs.
In the same vein, organizations have roles to play in reducing the rising drug demand. They can incorporate drug use policies and drug prevention programs into their operational procedures while schools can equally make drug education part of their curriculum.
It is my belief that with collective efforts of the various stakeholders and synergy among sister agencies, a safe and sane society devoid of huge substance abuse will be realized in Nigeria
ijeoma Muokeme, firstname.lastname@example.org