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The chairman chief executive officer of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Gen Buba Marwa (rtd) has said at least about 10.6 millions Nigerians are addicted to cannabis consumption saying the trend of drug abuse in the country was highly worrisome.
Marwa disclosed this at the weekend during the celebration of ogidi day in ijumu local government area of Kogi State where he was honoured with the chieftaincy title of Aare Jagunmolu of Ogidi kingdom.
The NDLEA boss who pleaded with parents and guardians to take proper care of their children said the use of illicit drugs has destroyed many families and ruined lives of youths and said all hands must be on deck to arrest the ugly trend.
He said, “today, no fewer than 14.3 million Nigerians, young people and adults from the age of 16 to 64 years abuse drugs, with cannabis being the commonly abused substance. At least 10.6 million people are addicted to cannabis in the past year.
He continued, “What is most heartbreaking is that majority of them are young people who are initiated into cannabis use around the age of 19. – There is also increasing use of other psychotropic drugs, especially heroin, again, by a growing number of young people who are mostly initiated at the age of 22 years.
“The more you unravel the statistics of drug uses in Nigeria, the more damning it becomes. And when you combine these damning data with the recent results of the activities of the NDLEA, then you begin to get worried.
In the past four months, he said, more than 2,180 drug traffickers have been intercepted and the agency seized over two million kilograms of assorted illicit substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, tramadol and cannabis.
“Broadly speaking, the agency has been able to seize drugs and cash worth over N90 billion within the first four months of this year.
“We have filed over 2,000 drug cases in court. Over 500 have been sentenced and are now serving different jail terms. And we still have over 1,500 of the cases pending in court. With this reality, it will be ironic to expect peace , security and meaningful development in Nigeria’ he added.