Gov Lalong, NDLEA advocate stringent measures against drug barons
The Executive Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon Simon Bako Lalong and the Chairman/Chief Executive, of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd) have called for the strengthening of the legal framework to effectively clamp down on drug barons and their accomplices in the country.
This call was made at the Regional Academy for Drug Control (RADC) in Jos, the capital of Plateau State at the occasion of the 2016 Command Officers’ Summit.
Governor Lalong, who was accompanied by the Secretary to the Government of the State, Hon. Rufus Bature and other Executive Council members said that “the global community has signed up for this war against transnational organised crimes and the drug trafficking.
Nigeria being a signatory to this conventions and protocols must ensure it continues to strengthen the national framework for sustaining the war.
“Every government that is determined to have a sane environment will therefore not pay lip service to exterminating illicit drug trafficking”.
Lalong while commending the NDLEA for the success recorded in the drug war so far also called for community participation in drug control.
He challenged the Agency to ensure that as part of its preventive measures to cultivate collaboration with vital ministries, departments and agencies of government that will help the war to succeed.
“Government will continue everything within its power to mobilise community participation in ridding our society of the menace of illicit drugs.
NDLEA cannot succeed without the communities ensuring that they are actively involved in the anti-drug crusade in markets, schools, religious centres and all public places.
The state has sustained the war against ‘Goskolo’, an illicit alcoholic substance across all the Local Government Areas” the governor stated.
The Agency’s Chairman in his remarks said that the campaign theme: “Change Begins with Me: Repositioning NDLEA for Effective and Efficient Performance Towards A Drug-Free Nigeria” is a deliberate strategy to reengineer the campaign against illicit drugs and psychotropic substances for enhanced performance.
“I am optimistic that everyone will leave this summit as change agents, adequately informed to drive the transformation agenda of the present administration.
Abdallah promised to eliminate the problems of poor funding, irregular promotions and poor welfare among others.
National Daily learnt that the latest statistics from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the 2016 World Drug Report states that 207,400 drug related deaths occurred in 2014 while about 29 million people are problem drug users.
This breath taking revelation according to the Agency is coming few years after the world marked a millennium of drug control; thus necessitating drastic policy review in advancing the campaign against narcotics.
“We all know that the world is still grappling with the problem of availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Our country Nigeria used to produce only cannabis sativa but today methamphetamine is also locally produced here.
Some of the collaborators include the governments of America, United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland for their efforts and contributions in advancing drug control programmes in Nigeria.
The efforts of the European Union (EU) and United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) is appreciated. Officers of the Agency who have toiled day and night in fighting the drug war were also commended.