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NDLEA: 14.2m Nigerians took drugs in 2018

Valentine Chinyem

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No fewer than 14.2 million Nigerians consumed illicit drugs in 2018, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disclosed.

Chairman of the agency, Col. Mohammad Abdallah (rtd) told reporters in Ilorin, at the sideline of sent forth ceremony organised for the retiring commander of Kwara state command, Ona Ogilegwe.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Femi Oloruntoba, Abdallah said “everybody is alarmed at the with which abuse drugs these days.”

Making reference to United Nations statistics, NDLEA boss said: “The recent United Nations drugs survey put it that 14.2 million Nigerians consumed illicit drugs in 2018. This is higher than the global statistics. Globally, it is estimated that only five million people have taken drugs last year. Ironically and frighteningly, it means 14.2 percent of Nigerians took drugs last year.

“What it means is that every Okada rider that you see working from 6am to 10pm is on something. The cultists, the kidnappers that pitch tent in the bush are on drugs.

What it means also is that if government fights drugs, it has fought 50 percent of criminality in Nigeria.”

He urged government to provide the equipment, fund and personnel for the war against drug abuse to be successful in Nigeria

“What we are asking government to do is to give us the materials, men and money- the three Ms. And of course equipment.

“It is better to soak the presence of NDLEA men in all the corners of the country. What I am saying that the presence of NDLEA cannot be felt in every nook and cranny of Nigeria because we are short of men.

“Adequate equipment is where the world is gravitating. Equipment can solve a lot of problems without physically being there. I was opportune to see in China.

“If you are at the police headquarters in China you will see all that is happening in the cities of Bejin one after the other. Even if government cannot do that for us, it should give us the minimum to police the borders, airports and seaports. Because these are where the drugs go in and out,” he added.

On the role of the society, he said “members of the society can assist the agency by providing us with useful information and then you don’t judge us by what you are seeing.

“You need to appreciate what we are doing with the little that is available.”