Published On: Mon, Dec 18th, 2017

Drug abuse: Senate goes after importers, distributors

Bukola Saraki

Bukola Saraki

The President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki has vowed to tackle the menace of drug abuse from its root by going after importers and distributors of drugs.

This is even as the Senate begins a roundtable with state governments, local governments, traditional rulers, the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria and NGOs, to tackle the menace.

In a series of tweets on his twitter handle @BukolaSaraki, Saraki stressed that the tackling the interplay between dirty money and drug importation and distribution would help tackle its prevalence.

Saraki expressed grave worry at the current spate of drug abuse saying that even nursing mothers were held by the clutches of drugs and other substances.

The President of the Senate therefore vowed that the roundtable will send a clear message to all Nigerians about its resolve to tackle drug abuse.

“The #DrugAbuse epidemic has been of a particularly virulent nature, touching all social strata and afflicting families and young lives. Not even nursing mothers are spared; future generations are already endangered.

“The stark reality is that so many Nigerians are shadows of their former selves because of drugs. This is intolerable. Furthermore, the very dangerous interplay between dirty money and drug importation, distribution and abuse must stop.

“We need to better understand where the strengths and weaknesses of our drug enforcement agencies lie, in order to be able to take measures to strengthen them.

“We need to send a clear signal from Kano to all Nigerians that this drug use epidemic must be controlled, and can be controlled.

The Senate is in Kano state for a roundtable following a resolution adopted in October where it was disclosed that 3 million bottles of cough syrup with “codeine” was being consumed in the North daily.

Consequently, the Senate mandated it’s Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and Health to investigate the growing menace of abuse of cough syrup and other prescriptive drugs.

According to the National Drug Law enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kano state has the highest number of youths engaged in drugs and substance abuse followed by Jigawa state.

In recognition of the destructive effect of the high spate of drug abuse in Kano state, President Muhammadu Buhari while on a working visit recently, ordered a crackdown on drug barons in the country.

In his remark at the opening of the reoundable which ends on Tuesday, Saraki said: ““I feel sure that by the end of this first Roundtable, we would have sent that crucial message to every corner of Nigeria – that drug abuse represents everything that is against our values as a decent society.

“We will no longer stand for this scourge which is destroying the social structures of our beloved country. It is time to say: Enough. Let us wake the nation.”