ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN: NDLEA Urges Religious Leaders To Preach To Members
The Apapa Special Command of NDLEA says it has lined up a week-long programmes for the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking which is celebrated In June 26 of every year.
The date 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.
The Commander of the Port Command, Mr. Inalegwu Ameh 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) which is the theoretical framework of the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd.)
“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. 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”
According to Mr. Ameh the Apapa Port 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.
“This we intend to carry out within the Port and the host communities of Apapa, Ijora and Amuwo-Odofin where the maritime operations are concentrated.
Working in alignment with the initiative of the National Headquarters of the Agency, he said Command will in the next seven days be reaching out to all categories within the aforementioned communities starting with a Press Briefing, 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.
This he said 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.
In deference to the faith based approach, all the worship centres within the communities are being urged to devout 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.
These activities will be crowned with a Grand Finale/Town Hall meeting which will bring in all stakeholders within the communities in order to chisel out workable mechanisms to keep drug merchants at bay and prevent drug use among the populace.
He started that Operating within the maritime corridor saddles the agency with the responsibility of maintaining the momentum of the Drug War which has been rekindled by General Marwa (Rtd.)
“We are not unmindful of the status of the Sea Port as the “gate way” and the almost limitless opportunities it offers unscrupulous maritime operators to ship in drugs in a volume that far outstrips what can be smuggled in through land or air transportation. Hence, making the Port impregnable is a task that must be done. And by so doing, we need to mobilize all and sundry using the “whole society” and “joined hand” approach.”
Mr. Ameh expressed the belief that the commemoration of the Anti-Drug Day will no doubt help to consolidate the gains of the stakeholder engagements that the Command has embarked upon in the last two months.
“The Command has had an interface with the Terminal Owners, Terminal Managers, Shipping Lines as well as Shipping Agencies who have assurances of their readiness to cooperate and work in synergy with NDLEA. The Agency needs the veritable intelligence hints that this set of stakeholders are in the best position to provide.”
Mr. Ameh vowed that the operational antenna of the agency will continue to remain high up in its readiness to bring down any non-co-operating entity within the maritime space.
This is validated by the numerous seizures the command has recorded in the last few months, he said.
“Only last week, the Command in collaboration with Nigeria Customs Service recorded drug seizures worth more than Six Billion Naira (N6B) which included 1,518kgs of Tafrodol brand of Tramadol (120grms) and Tramadol (225mg &250mg) weighing 3,553 kilograms.
This is in addition to the seizures of 14, 0800 kilograms of Cough Syrup with Codeine in January and another 40.25 Kilograms of the same Cough syrup with Codeine in February and 12 kilograms of another Cough Syrup with Codeine in March.
The Area Command also recovered 350 grams of Cocaine and 150 grams of Heroin in March 2022 but in summary, it recorded a total seizure of 19,703.25kg of assorted illicit drugs between January and June 2022.