Director, Public Enlightenment, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Josiah Emerole, says ritual killings, cultism and violence in the society can mainly be attributed to drug abuse.
He said this in Abuja Wednesday at a workshop on ‘Drug Abuse, Ritual Killing and Cultism in Nigeria’, organised by Caritas Nigeria of the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria, African Faith and Justice Network and Dominicans for Justice and Peace.
He said the workshop was aimed at developing a comprehensive workable strategy to tackle drug abuse.
Chigbu Odemulam Chilee, Assistant Director, Drug Demand Reduction, who represented the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, said: “Abusive parenting, cultural, unemployment, poverty, depression, low self-esteem, frustration and peer pressure, are some of reasons people get involved in drug abuse.
“Among every four drug users in Nigeria, one is a female, and one-in five persons who had used drugs, is suffering from drug use disorder. Drug use is most common between the ages of 25 and 39 years.”
Chief Programme Officer, National Orientation Agency, Okechi Robinson, said drug abuse was now reaching secondary, and even primary school pupils from 10 years.
Robinson said: “One of the ways to tackle the menace is by making the stiffer penalties for drug offences. We’ve seen the scenario in countries like Singapore, Malaysia and other where the penalties are stiffer for illicit drug offences.
“This has obviously helped them to drastically reduced if not eliminate illicit drug scourge in those countries. Therefore, Nigeria needs stiffer penalties to tackle drug offences.”