Pubdate: Wed, 26 Jun 2013
Source: Guardian, The (Nigeria)
Copyright: 2013 The Guardian Newspapers Limited
Author: Odita Sunday


TO mark this year's International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit
Trafficking, The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has
warned secondary school students across the country against indulging
in illicit drug consumption.

The agency warned Nigerian children and youths to desist from all
appearances of drugs.

In Lagos, the government in conjunction with NDLEA organized a seminar
for the students tagged: "Make health your 'new high' in life not
drugs" at the Immaculate Heart Secondary School, Maryland. The event
was attended by many secondary schools in Lagos.

According to the Lagos State command boss of NDLEA, Mr. Aliyu Sule: "The 
children are the vulnerable group. No nation toils with the future of 
their children. They are the future of Nigeria. We are to guide them 
against drug abuse and other drug crimes. The children should not go 
near drugs; they should not even touch it, because if they touch it, it 
would destroy them completely, that is the message."

"It would destroy them and destroy their lives completely. We don't
joke with a day like this, it is an opportunity to sensitize the
children and other stakeholders against illicit drug," he added.

In Abuja, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello
Adoke, Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Waziri Tambuwal
and other stakeholders called for intense and persistent attack on
drug trafficking cartels in the country. The submission was made by
the leaders at an event to also mark the 2013 International Day
Against Drug Abuse and Illicit drug Trafficking by NDLEA at the Women
Development Centre, Abuja.

House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Narcotic Drugs and
Financial Crime, Jagaba Adams Jagaba, called for improved funding for
the NDLEA to effectively discharge its functions.

In his words: "Drug production, trafficking and abuse is responsible
for crimes like terrorism, armed robbery and violence that subject
humanity to untold suffering and pain. It is therefore logical that
funds be made available to the Agency to perform". He pledged to
support the Agency through quality legislation.

The United Nations adopted June 26 of every year as world drug day
through resolution 42/112 of December 7, 1987. The theme of this
year's event is New Psychoactive Substances with the slogan; "Make
Health Your 'New High' In Life Not Drugs".

In Nigeria, the day was marked in all the states including the Federal
Capital Territory Abuja. NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade in his welcome
address urged participants to look beyond the festivities and imbibe
the fundamental objectives for the annual commemoration, which centres
on a collective drive for a drug-free society.

"We have made the commemoration to transcend beyond mere pomp and
pageantry. The past one-week has witnessed various anti-drug abuse
education programmes with the active participation of stakeholders.
Our community mobilization initiatives include anti-drug rally,
children talk show and drama competition, public education on the
dangers inherent in drug production, trafficking and abuse among many
others," Giade said.

Minister of Justice who was the chief host at the event said that
government would provide the NDLEA with the needed support to operate
optimally. "The huge resources derived from illicit drug trade cannot
be ignored because criminals can undermine governments and economies
with such proceeds. Illicit drug activities of cartels must therefore
be stopped in the interest of public peace and security. Government
will therefore ensure that the Agency has what it needs to operate
optimally." Adoke said.

The Minister who was represented by his special assistant Chibueze
Okorie expressed concern about report that some children start abusing
drug as early as age 10. "The various agents of socialization in the
society, such as the churches, mosques, schools and opinion leaders
must live up to their responsibilities by supporting the efforts of
the NDLEA. Let us give our children timely anti-drug education and
guide them on the right path because they are the leaders of tomorrow"
Adoke added.

Dr Rahman Lawal, Chief Medical Director, Federal Neuro-pschiatric 
Hospital, Yaba who was the guest lecturer educated participants on the 
subject, "The Emergence of Amphetamine Production in Nigeria: A Threat 
to National Security and Economy".

He listed consequences of drugs to include mental illness similar to
paranoid schizophrenia, malnutrition, blockage of blood vessels,
increased susceptibility to illness due to poor diet and death due to
CVA (Stroke), heart failure, or high fever.

NDLEA boss said that Nigeria is winning the fight against illicit
drugs against all odds. "Nigeria has incapacitated numerous drug
trafficking syndicates with the seizure of 3,434,966.23 kilogrammes of
narcotics and conviction of 21,871 drug traffickers since the Agency
commenced operations 23 years ago. The breakdown of the drugs are as
follows; 2,827,861.70kg of cannabis, 178,120.73kg of cocaine,
195,283.92kg of heroin and 233,699kg of psychotropic substances" he
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt