Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) and former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, has commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for their efforts to fight drug abuse in Nigeria.
Obi also called on the government to do more to tackle the causes of drug abuse in the country.
He said this in a tweet on Monday on the occasion of the World International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
In the tweet, Obi said the government needs to do more in rescuing the Nigerian youths from a further slide into drug addiction.
“On this International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we are reminded of the lingering menace of drug abuse among our youths and the need to take consistent actions to defeat it,” he tweeted.
“A report by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime in Nigeria indicates that 14.4% of Nigerians aged between 15 and 64 years abuse drugs. This is significantly higher than the global average of 5.6%.”
Obi said the leadership failure in the country, high rate of poverty and frustration, peer-group pressure among the youths, high rate of unemployment etc, are some of the main factors fuelling drugs and substance abuse among the youths.
The former governor of Anambra State stated that the attendant health conditions from drug abuse are unimaginable, including an epidemic of mental health cases and incidents of suicidal behaviour among youth.
“While we appreciate the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for their tireless efforts in combating the drug abuse menace in the country, more needs to be done by the government in rescuing the youths, our productive workforce from a further slide into drug addiction,” he added.
He urged the society not to stigmatise the people who have fallen into drug addiction.
Obi said that by putting measures in place to prevent more people from getting caught in the deadly web, Nigeria will gradually stamp out this societal ill.
He stated that he has always maintained that the New Nigeria will be anchored on the nation’s youth population and productivity.
“We must ensure that our youths are free from all forms of drug abuse and trafficking in illicit substances,” Obi said.