Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa, the Director-General of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, has lamented the spate of drug abuse in the South-West and South-South regions of Nigeria.
He noted these regions have the rate of drug abuse
Noting that a direct link exists between drug abuse and insurgency, banditry and kidnapping, he said these crimes would continue to thrive until the issue of drug abuse was addressed.
The NDLEA boss said this while speaking in Ogbomoso, Oyo State on Friday during the inauguration of a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts called ‘Behavioural Action Centre’, built by a group known as Ogbomoso First Initiative.
Marwa said the rate of drug abuse in the South-West had been found to be 22.4 per cent, with the South-South and South-East following with 16.6 and 13.8 per cent, respectively.
According to him, the North-East, North-West and North-Central came after with 13.6, 12 and 10 per cent, respectively.
Marwa said, “We are facing drug challenge in Nigeria but it is a solvable challenge. To achieve this, all stakeholders must come together to solve the problem. Drug challenge does not discriminate between Christians and Muslims. There is no community that is not affected by this debilitating issue.
“Banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and other criminal activities all have their root in the use of hard substances. Until we face the menace squarely, the problem of insecurity will continue to remain with us.”
Giving credit to the Ogbomoso First Initiative for building the rehab centre, Marwa said it was the first rehab centre in the South-West built by individuals.
The NDLEA frontman urged governors to build at least three rehabilitation centres in their states, saying each senatorial district ought to have one.
Marwa further urged Ogbomoso residents to also be the first set of people to demand drug-free certificate before giving their daughters’ hands in marriage or before allowing their sons to marry any lady.
In his reaction, the President, Ogbomoso First Initiative, Mr Olusegun Adekunle, said the association decided to establish the centre as part of its contributions towards making society a better place for everybody.