Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) asked the federal, state, and local governments, as well as citizens, to support the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in its efforts to eradicate illicit drugs in the country on Saturday.
Professor Ishaq Akintola, the Director of MURIC, praised the drug-fighting agency in a statement, but expressed concern about the rising wave of violence in the country.
The rate of drug abuse among adults, both males and females, was more concerning to him.
“We notice a link between Nigeria’s high crime rate and drug addiction.” Drug cartels and gangs kill at will in nations like Mexico, Italy, Peru, Columbia, Guatemala, Venezuela, and El Salvador, demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between crime and drugs,” he stated.
He urged the government to rise to the occasion by providing all necessary assistance to the NDLEA in order to prevent Nigeria from becoming another drug-infested country in Latin America or Europe.
He stated that the federal government must take a comprehensive approach to dealing with the hydraheaded monster that threatens to consume societal order.
“At this point, the indications aren’t looking good, and the figures are worrying. Nigerians are notorious for their irresponsible use of psychoactive narcotics such as cannabis, morphine, codeine, and tramadol.
“Drug users account for at least 14.4% of the total population, or around 14.3 million Nigerians aged 15 to 64,” he stated.
“Drug misuse is most common among people between the ages of 25 and 39 years,” he stated. Unfortunately, 27.7% of users are teenagers who need to focus on their schoolwork or training.’He warned Nigerian leaders to “see severe danger in these numbers because they tend to break world records.” For example, although global annual drug use is estimated to be 5.6 percent among adults, Nigeria has 14.4 percent drug users in its overall population.”
“Cannabis is the most commonly abused substance, with an estimated 10.8% of the population, or 10.6 million individuals, using it. One out of every seven people has used an opioid of some kind. Furthermore, one out of every four users is a woman.
“The increase in criminality in Nigeria is due to drug addiction. It’s also to blame for the country’s high suicide rate.
Furthermore, until the government confronts the drug problem head on, Nigeria’s efforts to address the mounting threat of insecurity may remain a pipe dream.
“Security agents have reported finding drugs among the belongings of fleeing Boko Haram fighters. Drugs have also been discovered in the possession of police-arrested armed robbers and kidnappers,” he added.
According to him, the most concerning trend is its use by kids in both university and secondary schools.
“In the war on drugs, Brigadier General Buba Marwa is the light at the end of the tunnel.” NDLEA, which had been in a coma prior to his appointment as Director General in January 2021, has since awoken.
“In the short time he was on board, more over N30 billion worth of cocaine was seized at the Lagos airport.” Cocaine worth N32 billion was confiscated at the Tin Can Port, and 200 kg of the substance was intercepted at the Lagos, Kano, and Abuja airports.
“The largest haul was 233,000 kg of cannabis seized in a hamlet in Edo state,” says the report. Furthermore, numerous drug lords who had been hiding for a long time have been captured.
“MURIC charged the federal government, as well as the state governments and other agencies, to provide NDLEA with all essential assistance. We implore parents to take a stance and be counted as parents in loco parentis.
Home counseling and monitoring should be increased.
He remarked, “Authorities of both secondary schools and institutes of higher learning should give the counselling department greater attention in order to guide our young ones.”