We must win war against drug abuse ― Buhari

• receives panel report

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has received a panel report on drug abuse in Nigeria, with a pledge that the war against the menace must be won to free the country of crimes and criminality.

Receiving the report of the General Buba Marwa-led Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse, PACEDA, in the State House, Abuja, on Friday, Buhari said his administration would sustain the fight against drug abuse.

Buhari acknowledged the enormity of the menace and solicited for the cooperation of all and sundry.

He equally called on all well-meaning Nigerians and international partners to join hands with relevant government agencies in the fight against drug abuse.

He said: “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,” the President said.

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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, General Marwa (retd) 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, 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.

He added 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.

He, however, said 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 as well as the establishment of a National Drug Control Commission.

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