President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria can comprehensively win the war against crime and insecurity in all its parts if it can effectively control access to dangerous drugs and check its abuse.
Buhari made this known during a National Security Council Meeting he presided over at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday.
The President observed that there is hardly any violent crime in Nigeria that is not propelled by the use of these hard substances, alleging that these hard substances have been coming in from all nooks and crannies with little or no control.
Linking the reckless use of these dangerous substances to the insecurity experienced across the country, Buhari called for a collective, concerted effort to deal with the menace of dangerous drugs in circulation to safeguard the country from the bottomless pit of self-destruction.
According to the National Security Adviser to the President, Retired Major-Gen. Babagana Monguno who spoke to newsmen after the meeting, his office presented a memo to the Security Council on the danger of drug abuse in the society as well as the need to urgently address the problem.
He said, “I presented two memos. The first had to do with drug trafficking as well as drug addiction in Nigeria, and the widespread use of these substances and the dangerous impact on our social, economic situation.
“Basically, what I told the council was that this has taken on a worrisome dimension. Nigeria’s perception on the drug trafficking index has changed from the status from a transit hub to a production centre.
“Between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed. That is a large number.
“At the same, we have had increasing activities of illegal cultivators of Cannabis in Nigeria.
“These people basically use extremely large space of arable land to cultivate this illegal substance, employing militiamen to protect their farms and also their storage facilities. When you look at the issue of drugs, our main concern as security operatives is the ultimate destruction to the social fabric and economy of the nation.”
The NSA revealed that at the meeting, President Buhari challenged the nation’s security agencies to rejig their strategies in the ongoing battle against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes in some parts of the country.
“Mr President has also directed that we must rejig our strategy that is both in terms of operation and intelligence. This we must do to prevent further catastrophe. We must bear in mind that we owe a duty to the people that elected his government, our government and at the end of the day without securing the nation all other things cannot be addressed such as revamping the economy and also fighting corruption,’’ Monguno maintained.