NACAT, NDLEA sensitise Abuja community against hard drugs

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By Ikenna Uwadileke

A pro-democracy group, Network Against Corruption and Trafficking (NACAT) and the the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Saturday sensitised residents of an Abuja community, Abattoir, against use of hard drugs.

Mr Stanley Ugagbe, NACAT’s Operational Manager, said that the programme followed a discovery that the community in Karu was a major hub for the sale of illicit drugs.

Ugagbe, who cautioned residents of the area against the use of hard drags, highlighted the negative impacts on the society.

According to Ugagbe, Section 11 Part II of the NDLEA Act prohibits anyone without any lawful authority from importing, manufacturing, producing, processing, planting or growing drugs like cocaine, heroin or any form of illegal drugs.

“Acting upon a scoop, we conducted a clandestine investigation and uncovered how hard drugs are sold in broad day light in this area.

“As a group that is committed to the fight against drug trafficking, we are here today to sensitise the people against the gross implications of hard drugs.

“Hard drugs are not only dangerous to the people using them but also their families and the society at large.

“When able-bodied men who ought to be contributing meaningfully to the project of nation building resort to hard drugs, we will lose them to those drugs,’’ he said.

While emphasising that the law is clear on the use of hard drugs, Ugagbe urged the sellers to stop the business and find legitimate businesses to do.

“There are so many legitimate businesses you can do to make a living in this country.

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“We are appealing to the sellers to put an end to this business that has become a menace in this area,” he said.

Ugagbe also urged those who patronise hard drug sellers to desist from doing so.

“If you starve the sellers of patronage, the business will die a natural death,” he said.

On his part, the NDLEA FCT Command Officer in charge of sensitisation, Augustine Nduka, commended NACAT for sensitising residents of Karu against the dangers of hard drugs.

According to Nduka,the Chairman of NDLEA, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa had graciously said that the war against illicit drug use was not something the government can do alone.

“That is why we are happy when NGOs take the initiative to collaborate with us as they talk to all segments of the society to sensitize them against the dangers of getting involved in illicit drug use and trafficking.

“The NDLEA is doing so much to ensure that we lessen the impact of these drugs on our society, on the population in general.

“There is marijuana, there is crack cocaine, there is cocaine, there is colorado, there is methamphetamine, ice, there is rohypnol, there is tramadol and there is pudding cough syrup,” Nduka said.

He emphasised that NDLEA was particularly concerned about the banned substances.

“That is why this morning we are happy working with Network against Corruption and Trafficking. And we are welcoming other NGOs, community-based organizations and religious bodies.”

According to Nduka, the agency is looking forward to more collaborative efforts in the future.

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He said: “Any other organisation, be it the Church, Mosque, community based organisation, town union meeting, you are free to invite the NDLEA and they will come and talk to your people against dangers of getting involved in illicit drug trafficking and abuse.

“Thank you very much and God bless you all as we stay off drugs in our society.”

Nduka said that the group observed during investigation that hard drugs bought in bulk from states were hidden in bags of garri, rice, cattle and transported to Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the roadshow started from ECWA junction in Karu through Abattoir and ended at Abacha road, Karu.

Participants displayed placards that read “Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Drugs”, “Spot the sign, break the chain” and “Your Potential is Limitless without Drugs”.

Others were: “Love Yourself: Break Free from Substance Abuse” and “Say no to drug trafficking’’. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

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