Aisha Buhari pledges to end drug addiction in Nigeria

The First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, on Thursday expressed her determination to step up advocacy to end the threat of drug trafficking and drug addiction among young women and youth in Nigeria.

Buhari said this at the Drug Awareness Conference 2022 organized by the Initiative on Drug Abuse and Substance Abuse in Nigeria (IAASAN), in collaboration with the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Abuja.

In a statement made available to journalists by her Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs and Strategy, Mr. Sani Zorro, she also urged stakeholders to join forces to address drug abuse challenges in the country.

“Only by working together can we avoid the tragedy and helplessness of nations badly affected by drug trafficking and related crimes,” she said.

She therefore stressed the need for traditional and religious organizations to join the fight to help tackle the menace of drug trafficking and addiction in Nigeria.

“Imagine if our mosques and churches, priests and clergy had vigorously lent their voices and asserted their influence to cleanse society of the menace of drug addiction and addiction!

“Imagine how relevant and relevant they could have been if our political parties had prioritized societal challenges like the fight against illicit drugs.

“Not only will we give hope to communities facing this syndrome, but we would have shown a clear willingness to embark on a fundamental reform of our value system,” she said.

The first lady also told the rally that women have a vital role to play in shaping the character of their children for a better education.

“In this campaign, therefore, women can serve as educators and motivators of good attitudes that their children would emulate,” she said.

The first lady, however, expressed concern about the rate of illicit drug users in the country.

She said: “Unfortunately, one in four drug addicts is a woman.”

According to her, “the 2021 joint survey by the National Bureau of Statistics and the Center for Research and Information on Substance Abuse (CRISA), supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC ) was worrisome.

“Nigeria had 14.3 million of its productive population engaged in drug abuse and this figure is expected to increase by 40% by 2030.

“That’s about 20 million of our 200 million+ population, unless there is a deliberate, massive and collaborative intervention to stem the tide,” she said.

The first lady therefore stressed the need for stakeholders to ensure that deliberate efforts are made to combat the threat.

“Because drugs induce widespread violence in local and urban communities, they are now helping to fuel violent conflict in many parts of our country.

“We should therefore be concerned about the rate of audacity with which the plot to turn our country into a drug hub crystallizes,” she urged.

She therefore appreciated the organizers for their attention and sense of empathy for the event.

According to her, the conference will bring to the public domain the urgent need to focus on rehabilitation.

The president’s wife has said she is ready to support any course aimed at combating the threat.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was aimed at raising awareness to draw public attention to the dangers of drug abuse to the health and well-being of Nigerians and the Nigeria as a nation. (NOPE)

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