The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has warned that current moves by some stakeholders to push for the legalisation of cannabis will rob the country of the gains so far made in the renewed war against drug abuse and trafficking.
Marwa gave the warning at a national security summit organised by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
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He said the present figure of 10.6million Nigerians abusing cannabis is frightening and enough to sound the alarm bell.
According to him, the strong nexus between drug abuse and the security challenges across the country is incontrovertible.
“Presently, there is no bigger national issue than the issue of insecurity in Nigeria. It is one of the big challenges, if not the biggest, threatening our dear country. Insecurity is today, a full-blown malady with many manifestations such as insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, murder, robbery, reprisal killing, name it.
“Yet there has never been a government that is more committed to ending this spate of insecurity than the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. The President has matched political willpower with resources, but the scope and frequency of these acts of destabilisation and the audacity displayed by the perpetrators call for a second, critical look at the malaise.
“The persistence of the problem has forced on us the necessity to start to look at likely extraneous factors that might be sustaining the resistance from the criminal elements and in doing so, try to connect the dots.
“The permutations will lead to a list of probable causes, which will not exclude the use and abuse of illicit substances. In the final analysis, drug abuse is indeed one of the factors fueling insecurity,” he said.
He added that the relationship between substance abuse and crime is a fact.
He also said that what is clear is that no sane human being will rise against society to commit the kind of gross atrocities as being witnessed in recent years, except such an individual has first hardened his heart with mind-altering substances.
Marwa also said statistics and empirical data show that the use of illicit substances is a contributing factor to the worsening insecurity.