President Muhammadu Buhari says winning the war against drug abuse remains one of the critical elements of the Next Level mandate of this administration.
The president stated this when he received the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA), on Friday in the State House, Abuja.
Buhari reiterated the commitment of the government to the welfare of the citizenry by fighting the scourge of drug abuse.
According to him, winning the war becomes one of the critical elements of the Next Level mandate of this administration.
“As a government, we have the responsibility to ensure the security and well-being of our people.
“Our findings have shown that it is more difficult to bring down crime rate to acceptable levels without clearing our country of substances abuse,’’ he said.
The President, however, solicited the cooperation of all and sundry in view of the enormity of the menace.
Buhari called on all well-meaning Nigerians and international partners to join hands with relevant government agencies in the fight against drug abuse.
While thanking the committee for its timely and diligent prosecution of the assignment, the President assured that the matter was of utmost importance, and the report would be studied along with the recommendations.
Earlier, the Chairman of the committee retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa had told the President that since the committee was inaugurated on December 2018, it interfaced with a wide spectrum of stakeholders including Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
He added that the committee also interfaced with Non-Governmental organisations, Civil Society Organisations, Faith-based Organisations, professional bodies, international partners and members of drug user communities with their parents, teachers and caregivers.
Marwa further explained that the assignment, which took members to all the geopolitical zones of the country, confirmed the fears of President Buhari that Nigeria had a very strong drug problem that needed to be tackled as a national emergency.
According to him, the key to tackling the menace is a formal launch of a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) as part of the declaration of a state of emergency on the menace.
He also called for the establishment of a National Drug Control Commission to coordinate and check the menace of drug abuse in the country.