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Drug abuse worse than terrorism, banditry and kidnapping – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Abuja inaugurated the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), saying the war must be fought by all well meaning citizens

Mr Buhari asserted that the drug war was more dangerous than wars against insurgency and banditry because it targeted three generations for destruction shocked.

The launch was initiated by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in commemoration of the 2021 UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The theme of the day, annually marked on June 26, is “Share Facts on Drugs. Save Lives.”

Mr Buhari said “it is therefore my pleasure to declare on behalf of the good people of Nigeria, a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), not just as a slogan, but a call for civil action for all Nigerians to take active part in this war.

“Let me say that this war is more deadly than the insurgency we have in the northeastern part of the country or the acts of banditry in the North-West or acts of kidnapping that transcends all the geopolitical zones of this country because it is a war that is destroying three generations.

”I’ve seen clips of where grandparents are on drugs, parents are on drugs, and by extension, their wards, their children are on drugs. cheesy

“So, this is a war that is targeting three generations in a stretch.

“I believe strongly that every effort must be put in place to ensure that we deal with the issues of substance abuse and trafficking and manufacture.

”I believe strongly, with every bit of conviction, that if we are able to deal with the issue of drug abuse, our security challenges will drastically reduce as we walk toward a drug-free Nigeria.”

The president, therefore, implored Nigerians from every strata of life, including traditional and religious leaders, local leadership at every level, to be vigilant and to support WADA.

Buhari charged the NDLEA to intensify efforts at ridding the country of criminal elements.

He added that criminal elements had made forest areas their hideouts, from where they had been launching criminal onslaughts as well as for farming marijuana.

He said: “I am directing the NDLEA to develop a robust risk-communication and community engagement strategy that will not only disseminate the four pillars of the plan to responsible entities, but deal with destroying production sites and laboratories.”

He also urged families, schools, Civil Society Organisations, professional associations, religious organisations, the academia, community leaders and individuals to work for the common good to rid communities of drug use and trafficking.

He appreciated stakeholders and international collaborators, especially the European Union and the UN Office for Drugs and Control, for their unwavering support to the nation’s drug control efforts, including the development of a roadmap.

Mr Buhari also appreciated members of the inter-ministerial committee on drug control for their contributions and efforts to national drug control initiatives.

In his remarks, the Chairman of NDLEA, Buba Marwa, said N90 billion worth of illicit drugs had so far been seized by the agency in the last five months.

According to him, over 2,180 traffickers have been arrested, including five drug barons controlling different cartels across Nigeria.

He also revealed that a record 2.05 million kilograms of drugs had been intercepted across the country; and 2,100 drug offenders prosecuted with 500 sentenced to various jail terms by courts.

He said “while the statistics are impressive, we wouldn’t deceive ourselves that we have succeeded in cleaning the Augean Stable in five months.

”We have only made a head start. We need to sustain the momentum. We need to win the drug war. We cannot afford to be complacent.”

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