President Muhammadu Buhari said Friday winning the war against drug abuse remains one of the critical elements of the Next Level mandate of the present administration.
Receiving the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA) at the State House in Abuja, the president reiterated the commitment of government to the welfare of the citizenry by fighting the scourge of drug abuse.
“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 called for cooperation of well-meaning Nigerians and international partners 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.
In his remarks, chairman of the committee, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (retd), told the president that since the committee was inaugurated in December 2018, it interfaced with a wide spectrum of stakeholders including Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Non-Governmental organisations, Civil Society Organisations, Faith-based Organisations, professional bodies, international partners and members of drug user communities with their parents, teachers and care givers.
He said the assignment, which took members to all the geopolitical zones of the country, confirmed the fears of the president that Nigeria had a very strong drug problem that needed to be tackled as a national emergency.
He said the key to tackling the menace is a formal launch of a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) as part of declaration of a state of emergency on the menace as well as the establishment of a National Drug Control Commission.