The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, retired Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa, on Thursday, raised fears about the menace of drug abuse in Nigeria.
According to him, kidnappers and other criminals have adopted the practice of demanding ransom in drugs from their victims.
A statement by the NDLEA Director (Media and Publicity), Femi Babafemi, said Marwa expressed this fear during the inauguration of a “Special Purpose Committee” of the agency to mobilise against drug abuse, peddling and trafficking.
He also called on Nigerians to take ownership of the renewed fight against the menace of drug abuse in the country.
Babafemi quoted Marwa as saying that the involvement of all Nigerians in the fight has become imperative because of the great danger the problem of drug abuse posed to the society and the country at large.
He said, “Use of drugs in Nigeria today is at an epidemic proportion of approximately 15 million, nearly three times global prevalence. No wonder, so much criminality everywhere in our land and it is increasing instead of abating with such symptoms as kidnapping, insurgency, banditry, rape, and assassinations.
“Behind it all is drug use. Criminals now ask for ransom in drugs and unless we get to this root cause, we will only be scratching the surface, as the criminalities will continue to flourish.
“Unfortunately, drug use does not show in the face, but we all know somebody or someone who knows somebody doing drugs and that is why we all need to come together as Nigerians to fight the menace.
“Today, I am deployed to serve with the patriotic officers and men of the NDLEA, the lead agency for controlling, coordinating and taking charge of the war against drugs throughout Nigeria. The fight cannot be ours to fight alone. It must be a collective fight. We need the collaboration of every segment of the Nigeria society.