Nigeria’s first lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and the chairman/chief executive officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Marwa (retd) have charged state governments to prioritise the fight against substance abuse in their strategic work plans for a safe and secure society.
They spoke at the opening of a two-day training on “Drug Prevention Treatment and Care (DPTC)”, organised by NDLEA for spouses of state governors in Abuja, yesterday.
At the event, Mrs Tinubu who was the special guest of honour, tasked the states to see the war against the menace as a collective effort.
Represented by wife of the inspector-general of police (IGP), Mrs Elizabeth Egbetokun, the first lady commended Marwa and the Nigerian Governors’ Spouses Forum for the initiative.
In his speech, Fagbemi commended the resourcefulness of the NDLEA leadership in utilising the Nigerian Governors’ Spouses Forum to cascade the drug war into the grassroots and the community level.
Also, Marwa, in his remarks, said the devastating effects of substance abuse on public health, the environment and its nexus with the spate of insecurity faced across the country has made it mandatory for a whole-of -society approach to curb the scourge. He said this has been the focus of the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), advocacy campaign emplaced by the NDLEA since 2021.
He further said, “Our commanders and officers in your states are always available to work with you and the governors; please create the needed access for them so that they can serve you and the society better. Together, we can affect meaningful change and create healthier, safer communities for all.
Your collective effort can become the biggest catalyst for the nation to triumph over the illicit drug challenge.”
He said as part of efforts to curb cultivation and production of illicit drugs in Nigeria, the agency is adopting an alternative development plan that will encourage cannabis farmers to switch to other licit crops.
The event also witnessed presentation from UNODC country representative, Dr Oliver Stolpe, representative of European Union, Letizia Torretta and the director general, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu, who called for collaborative efforts to curb the menace of drug abuse across the states.