In a bid to re- emphasize its stand against drug abuse, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Apapa Special Area Command has embarked on a a week of awareness campaign with the aim of reducing and wagging war against the illicit import, sale and use of hard drugs.
Addressing the media on Monday at the
agency’s office inside Apapa Port Complex, the Commander of the unit, Mr. Inalegwu Ameh stated that the awareness campaign is to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Mr Inalegwu Ameh hinted that June 26 of every year has been designated by the United Nations to commemorate the drug day and all segments of society are urged to adopt actions that sensitize their immediate communities aimed at achieving a World free of Drug use and trafficking.
He noted that the theme for this year’s commemoration “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises” is not only as topical as it is thought provoking but consistent with the spirit and letter of the War against Drug Abuse (WADA) .
According to him “The theme urges us to critically interrogate the mechanisms for mitigating the availability, accessibility and affordability of drugs if we must guaranty sound health and favourable human conditions in our communities”.
He says that available records show that drug use account for most of the health problems while it aggravates conflicts, crime and criminalities and problems of insecurity, generally.
He added that the Apapa Port Special Area Command has seized the initiative to embark on some activities that will increase awareness and knowledge of the potential health, social and legal consequences of illicit drug use and provide accurate information on illicit drug habituation with the intent to carry it out within the Port and the host communities of Apapa, Ijora and Amuwo-Odofin where the maritime operations are concentrated.
Mr Ameh disclosed that as part of the activities of the awareness week, the Command will in the next seven days be reaching out to all categories within the aforementioned communities.
Adding that there will be a Walk against Drugs through the streets of Apapa on Tuesday June 21, 2022. A group of parents will be gathered at the Apapa Local Government Secretariat for an anti-drug sensitization on Wednesday June 22, 2022, which will be followed up on Thursday June 23, 2022 with a Student Forum/Symposium, an in-gathering of students from various schools to be mentored by an internationally recognized Drug Prevention Expert.
Urging religion leaders to be a partaker in the fight against drug abuse, Mr Ameh said “In deference to the faith based approach, all the worship centres within the communities are being urged to devote their sermons to the consequences of drug use and illicit drug trafficking in the Juma’at and Church services on Friday and Sunday within the week”.
The NDLEA Command has also be known to have over the past two months engaged a lot of stakeholders within the Maritime sector to educate them about the inherent dangers of drug trafficking and abuse. It is a generally accepted view that there is currently a high incidence of substance abuse in the country and that a lot of awareness among other actions are needed to curb the menace.
Responding to questions , the Commander said that he commends celebrities in the society who help in educating and informing the populace about the dangers of drug trafficking and abuse.
He added that the war against this menace can be worn with the kind of frontal approach that they have adopted in tackling the problems as spearheaded by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Brig.Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd.) who he said has declared a personal war against the menace.
According to him, there was an in-house sanitisation campaign last year with the urine samples of all the officers of the agency taken and tested for drugs, this he says is a testament to the seriousness of the agency to clean itself up while trying to rid the society of illicit drugs.
He however disclosed that drug traffickers who have been previously caught are undergoing the process of prosecution at the courts.