Abia state government says it has concluded plans to build centres that would serve as rehabilitation homes for drug addicts in the state.
Speaking during the 2013 UN Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the Abia state Office of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the state governor , Chief Theodore Orji stated that the fight against illicit drugs and drug abuse has gone beyond the use of force or fire arms.
He disclosed that the importance his government attached to the fight against drug addiction led to the setting up of a committee with the mandate is to map out plans on how to eliminate cases of drug addicts arrested in the state.
The governor who was represented by Mike Uzuegbu, Chairman, state Committee on Drug Abuse and Control described the problem of illicit drugs in the country as enormous and which needs all hands on deck to fight it.
This is why the Abia state government has invested heavily and also set up a drug committee to tackle the problem.
“We believe that the use of arms will not always solve the problem of drug intake. We are going to go into massive education on these our sons and daughters. Because they are our brothers but it is unfortunate they have to fall into this kind of thing, so we are going to use education to do more of the work and we believe by the time we appeal to their consciences, most of them if not all will start realizing the need to leave this kind of life and turn a new leaf.
“We know the cost in naira and the damage to health and so on and so forth. For Abia state to be a crime free state the use of illicit drugs must be reduced minimally and that is why we are standing here today to lend support to all that the federal government is doing through the NDLEA and other agencies to reduce drug abuse to zero level in the state. All of us must work together to make that we achieve the goal. This is why the Abia state government has invested heavily and also set up a drug committee to tackle the problem.”
Speaking earlier, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade described the theme, “Make Health Your ‘New High’ in Life Not Drugs” as a call for vigilance by all stakeholders on the risk of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
Giade who was represented by the Abia state NDLEA Commander, Florence Ezeonye enumerated the successes made by his agency in the fight against illicit drugs and added that they had seized 2,827,861.70kg of cannabis, 178,120.73kg of cocaine, 195,283.92kg of heroin and 233,699kg of psychotropic substances and 21,871 drug traffickers being convicted since the agency commenced operations in the past 23years.
He said that the agency in the past two years have also, detected and dismantled 5 illicit methamphetamine production laboratories in the country (4 in Lagos and 1 in Nanka Village, Anambra State), stressing that the impending danger of the growing methamphetamine production in the global drug market calls for active participation of Nigerians and international collaborators.
The NDLEA boss hinted that his agency is partnering with the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to coordinate the importation of all chemicals used in the country to ensure that they are used for medical purposes and also to prevent their diversion for illicit drug production.