The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has sounded the alarm regarding the escalating issue of online drug sales, characterizing it as a novel dimension in the country’s struggle against drug abuse.
During a keynote address titled “Uprise in Drug Abuse, Role of Parents” at the FIDA Week 2023 celebrations in Ilorin, organized by the International Federation of Women Lawyers on Tuesday, Mohammed Ibrahim, the state commander of NDLEA, emphasized that this menace is a global phenomenon particularly prevalent among the youth.
He said, “We call it the darknet where drugs are being sold online without the seller and the buyer knowing each other. All they need is contact and they make the call and the substance is delivered. It’s very common here now. What we’ve been doing is to see how to intercept them.
“Especially, the waybill coming from neighbouring states through some commercial vehicles. We’ve intensified our patrol system around the state. We’re gathering intelligence and we’re making very good use of it. We’ve intercepted quite a number of them through control delivery.
“We know as the yuletide period is approaching, a lot of such would be happening. Thank God, the state governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, is being proactive as he has supported us with the provision of infrastructure to tackle the menace”.
The NDLEA boss, who said that the prevalence of drug use, drug abuse and drug addiction had led to an increasing crime rate in society, added that there is no crime without a drug undertone.
He, thus, suggested some protective factors against the menace such as family harmony and bonding, affection and love for family members, and proactive and positive parenting, while he advised that parents should not be judgemental but ensure effective monitoring of their children, among others.
Also speaking, the state chairperson of FIDA, Gloria Okoduwa, said that phones have taken children away from many parents, adding that family discussion had now been neglected.
She announced plans by the FIDA to take a campaign against drug abuse and its effects to major markets and other public places in the state to drive down the message, saying that many parents have failed the generation with their poor parenting attitude.
“I think this generation is wiser than us. They go all out to explore and parents are rather too busy with careers and businesses. We need to come together and fight the monster that wants to take our children away from us. There are so many youths languishing in rehabilitation centres because of this monster called drugs”.
She encouraged close monitoring of parents on their children, saying that present socioeconomic situations had made parents not have time for their children any longer.
Chairperson of the FIDA Week 2023 committee, Hajia Muinat Adeleye, who is also the zonal legal officer of the NDLEA, Zone I, Oyo state, lamented that drug abuse is rampant in the country.
“Almost every home is affected. Right from primary, and secondary schools and university, drug abuse is the trend. So, as mothers and as lawyers, we have to lend our voices. There’s a campaign against drug abuse all around, but it’s like society is yet to come to terms with how grievous the problem is to society. You hear of alarming rates of kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, terrorism, disrespecting parents, truancy. All are because of the influence of drugs.
“Parents should pay more attention to their children rather than putting all their concentration on their careers and businesses. All parents should come back home because if our future is gone, we may no longer have a future to hold on to”, she said.
She advised parents not to buy phones for under-age children.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Government, in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has said that it is set to begin sensitisation in every part of the state to curb drugs and substance abuse.
The Supervising Commissioner of the Ministry of Youths Development, Hon Usman Yunusa-Lade disclosed on Tuesday in his office during a meeting with officers of the NDLEA in the State.
Lade noted that the collaborative initiative was aimed at kickstarting a comprehensive and far-reaching campaign with robust sensitization programmes designed to tackle the root causes of drug abuse and raise awareness about its detrimental effects in society.
According to him, the strategic meeting between the Kwara State Ministry of Youths Development and the NDLEA is a significant milestone in the concerted effort to combat drug abuse in the State.
“What makes this endeavour particularly commendable is the staunch backing it has received from the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq”, he said.