The world marks June 26 as International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as declared by the United Nations. The issues are not different this year as the menace keeps rising and, sadly, causes untold hardship to our communities and the world in general.
The Day, June 26, is to commemorate Lin Zexu’s dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong, ending on June 25, 1839, just before the First Opium War in China. The observance was instituted by General Assembly Resolution 42/112 of December 7, 1987.
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The global observance of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking aims to raise awareness of the major dilemma that illicit drugs represent to society. Indeed, the aim is an expression of the United Nations’ determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
This year’s theme highlights that justice and health are two sides of the same coin when it comes to addressing drug problems.
The pertinent question is: what have we done in our immediate communities to address this situation that is posing a danger to our survival as a society and a nation? Are we to maintain silence while the future of our children and that of unborn children is on the brink? No! Most of the crimes committed were done after the criminals have taken drugs, which is obtained through illicit trafficking.
In Nigeria, the Boko Haram in the North East, ungodly bandits and kidnapping in the North West, and the IPOB terrorists in the South East are all known for their criminality, havoc and destruction. However, the acts were mostly committed after taking dangerous drugs, which are injurious to the health and well-being of the people.
Perhaps, those taking illicit drugs don’t know the dangers and injuries they create for themselves and the society. It’s the drug that impels them to commit crimes against humanity, which sometimes triggers instability in the world.
However, there has never been a better time to combat this serious threat to human existence than now. But, to achieve this, we must destroy the sources of illicit drugs.
Certainly, you can’t discourage and combat consumption of illegal drugs and trafficking without addressing irresponsible parenting. In our society, you see someone with 10 youngsters or more whom he cannot take of them.
We must, therefore, take the bold step and tell ourselves the truth. Never produce what you can’t take care of. The moral upbringing of children is a primary responsibility of every parent.
The Nigerian drug law enforcement agencies must take their responsibilities with all seriousness. Indeed, perpetrators must be punished according to the law of the land. This is the only way it will serve as a deterrent to all with similar horrible intentions.
Similarly, our justice system must be overhauled.
We must also put a stop to the hawking of drugs along streets, especially in our villages. Often illegal and expired drugs are sold to the unsuspecting public by these hawkers. This and similar actions should be properly checked. We should all play our part in spreading awareness to make our society free of illegal drugs.
Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani, Galadima Mahmoud Street, Kasuwar Kaji Azare, Bauchi State