President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday expressed the commitment of his administration to combat drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
He spoke at the State House Conference Centre Abuja during an occasion organised in commemoration of the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
“We will tackle the drug menace and its associated consequences in all forms and therefore call on governments, international organisations, and civil stakeholders to take urgent actions to protect society, and all people by tackling the problem of illicit supply and abuse of drugs, to help raise the consciousness of the threats that it poses to the society,” he said.
President Tinubu said this year’s World Drug Day theme, “People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention,” stressed the need to prioritise the well-being and dignity of individuals affected by drug abuse, recognizing their inherent worth and the importance of providing them with effective prevention and treatment interventions.
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Tinubu implored religious leaders, traditional leaders, educational institutions, opinion leaders, civil society organizations and all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with the government in fighting the menace.
In his welcome address, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (retd), said that the agency could not win the war against illicit drugs without the active collaboration of all stakeholders.
He cautioned that rather than stigmatizing individuals under the web of drug addicts, such persons deserve sympathy and support.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, who was represented by his deputy, Benjamin Kalu, commended the agency for its radical approach and border patrols, calling on the NDLEA to appoint volunteers and commit more resources on sensitization particularly in schools, churches and mosques to support the campaign.
Chairman of MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, who was also represented by Mr Dennis Okoro, called on the government to put in place appropriate policies, adding that the implementers should be trained to execute the tasks with a human face.