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Drug abuse: Lagos ranks highest, says Presidential Committee on drug

Chukwuemeke Iwelunmo

The Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA) set up to advise the federal government on how to fight the incessant abuse of drugs across the country has embarked on a fact-finding mission to the South Western Zone of the country. The committee headed by the retired Brigadier General Muhammed Buba Marwa with the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, cited the latest survey carried out by the United Nations Office on Drug Control (UNODC) which described the gory statistics of the severity and prevalence of drug abuse in Nigeria as mind-boggling. Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Alhaji Abubakar Jimoh, the Director, Public Affairs in the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), explained that the latest report released by UNODC has shown that Nigeria has a national average of 14.4 per cent prevalence of Drug Abuse which almost tripled the world average of 5.6 per cent. According to the survey; “In Nigeria, Lagos State has the highest figure of 33 per cent followed by Oyo State with 22 per cent and the implication of this is that Nigeria is literally sitting on a keg of gun powder and this why the setting up of PACEDA is timely and President Buhari must be commended for taking the bull by the horn.” While describing the drug abuse menace as all intents and purposes hydra-headed, Jimoh, however said, “this was not insurmountable considering the Star-studded composition of the Committee headed by the former Military Administrator of Lagos and Bornu States, General Muhammed Buba Marwa. General Marwa’s antecedents in Lagos with his operation SWEEP and successful military career are strong pointers to the fact that PACEDA is a serious-minded and achievement-oriented Committee whose work will not be consigned to the dustbin of history. Like her Excellency, Dr. (Mrs.) Aisha Buhari rightly pointed out when the Committee was being put together “Myself and Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo’s membership of this Committee will send a strong signal to Nigerians that the present administration is determined to win the war against drug abuse. “I am very happy that General Marwa had already accepted the gauntlet with the proposed Launch of War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) which will further amplify and accentuate the Youth Against Drug Abuse (YADA) programme launched last December, in Kano State by Director – General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye. “The combined forces of WADA, YADA and several interventions by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), UNODC and other Agencies will surely lead to accelerated elimination of the growing monster of drug abuse in Nigeria. The Committee is currently on that finding and advocacy visits to all the Geo-political Zones in the country.

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