Don’t criminalise drug abuse, NDLEA cautions Nigerians

...As AIG, POCACOV, Ibadin task journalists to rebrand Nigeria


CITIZENS COMPASS– The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Lagos State, has cautioned Nigerians not to criminalise drug abuse but drug trafficking and other related offences saying the Agency would leave no stone unturned to prosecute drug traffickers and peddlers across the country.

NDLEA said drug addicts should be regarded as sick persons who need counseling, medical treatment, and rehabilitation.

The Agency sounded the warning during the 2024 edition of Road Walk against drug abuse, cultism, and domestic violence which took place on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Lagos State.

The Road Walk was organised by the Police Campaign against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV) in collaboration with the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP).

Fielding questions from journalists at the Headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command where the Walk kicked off through to the Lagos State House of Assembly in Alausa, the Commander, NDLEA Lagos State, CN Abubakar Liman Wali, though kicked against drug abuse but urged members of the public to change their perception against drug addicts as the Agency has activated a rehabilitation process to reduce the menace to the barest minimum.

Represented by Makinde Adekunle Kazeem, Deputy Commander, NDLEA Lagos State, he said, ”NDLEA is a proactive organisation which acts based on intelligence, Drug abuse is dangerous in the sense that it can affect the ways of life of anybody that takes it: the way they act or reason.

”It is the root cause of criminality, for instance, nobody can ordinarily carry a gun and kill fellow human beings without the influence of drugs particularly cocaine or methamphetamine which are very dangerous.

”Whoever we arrest at the point of taking, we counsel and rehabilitate them and we are happy that people are queuing into our rehabilitation process.

”People who are taking drugs won’t be regarded as criminals, we regard them as sick people and all we need to do is to counsel, treat, rehabilitate, and reintegrate them into the society so that they can be useful to the populace. It is only those who are trafficked that should be regarded as criminals.

”NDLEA has a double-barrel policy: supply and demand based on those who are taking and those trafficking it.

”Drug traffickers are our enemies and whenever we get them, we prosecute them to a logical conclusion.” He said.

In his submission, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Adegoke Fayoade, mentioned the efforts of the Command at waging war against crime and criminality in the State,

According to him, ”We have been collaborating with other relevant agencies which has been effective in the sense that we have jointly raided the hideouts of drug addicts to ensure that they are adequately prosecuted.

”We have also ensured that recovered drugs are destroyed and I believe that once we sustain this high level of collaboration, we are going to get these drug issues out of the way in no distant time.

”I congratulate NAOSNP for its successful hosting of this event. NAOSNP has been very supportive in all we do especially on issues that have to do with criminal activities.

”I have always encouraged such collaboration because we cannot fight crime alone but if we join hands and map out strategies, I believe we will get to a level where issues of crime will be very minimal in our society.”

POCACOV extends love to cultists, drug addicts

Similarly, Dr Ayodele Ogunsan, POCACOV Chairman, Lagos State, said the Agency has been extending its hands of love to cultists and persons indulging in drug abuse across the State.

”On assumption of office as Chairman of POCACOV in Lagos, I started to set a very clear direction of what we intend to do.

”Ours is purely a preventive mode as there are other agencies that do the corrective measures; this means the crime would have been committed before it is being addressed but on our part, we want to prevent and nip it in the bud.

”We are purveyors of peace and are extending the hands of peace to all the people who are engrossed in this evil called cultism, drug abuse, and other vices. We are ready to support and encourage you, those things are not beneficial and the consequences are enormous.

”It destroys your family name, and career and renders you useless but we are here to assist and make your life better.

”We are ready to enroll you in school and support you in any way so that you quit drug abuse. It is only those who are not accepting this offer that the arm of the law will catch up with.”

Drug abuse may cause road crashes–FRSC

The Lagos State Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), CC Patric Davou Dung said drug abuse may cause road crashes urging drivers to desist from it, ”We synergise and collaborate with other security agencies to fight drug abuse being one of the major offences in the society. We do enlighten people on the use of drugs which is not allowed among drivers so that it does not retard their thinking.

”The end result is suicidal, makes you grow weak, and causes road crashes.

”If we notice a vehicle carrying drugs, we quickly notify NDLEA. ”

The event was rounded off with an A-Day workshop for media practitioners on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, at LCCI Expo & Conference Centre, Alausa, Lagos where security experts like the Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Zone 2, AID Olaoye Durosinmi

From Left: Makinde, CP Adegoke Fayoade, Ayo Ogunsan, CC Patric Davou and NAOSNP President, Oki Samson during the Walk.

(Chairman of the Occasion), Mr. Tokunbo Modupe, Chairman, TPT International and Mr, Matthew Ibadin, CEO, Badinson Security (Keynote Speakers) among others did justice to the theme: Report Nigeria, Rebrand Nigeria  

Report Nigeria, Rebrand Nigeria –Ibadin

In his Keynote address titled, “Report Nigeria, Rebrand Nigeria ”, Ibadin tasked media practitioners to rebrand Nigeria through their reportage. “In shaping the narrative of our beloved nation, we must recognise the profound impact of media portrayal on global perceptions. Our country, with its cultural diversity and breathtaking landscapes, often remains unseen by those beyond our borders, who rely solely on media representations. Therefore, we must exercise caution in not only how we report news but also in how we articulate our national identity to the world.

“Why is it easy to condemn Nigeria? While individuals may adopt different nationalities, the indomitable Nigerian spirit courses through our veins, propelling us to transcend expectations. Nigeria is home to industrious and resilient citizens, and the responsibility of nation-building extends beyond political leaders to encompass every member of society, including the media. 

“How many media practitioners and Nigerians have written positive articles about the greatness of Nigeria? It is a question we must all ponder, as the duty to uplift our nation lies in each of our hands.

“How many of us have a driving license? These seemingly small personal milestones reflect our commitment to progress and order. They are symbols of our individual responsibility and contributions to the nation’s well-being. Just as we strive for personal achievements, we must also strive for collective progress. How many of us obey traffic laws? The disregard for simple things as the traffic lights shows our level of patriotism to the law and order of our beloved country.

“Our movie actors, actresses, and artists are making us proud abroad, with talents like Burna Boy, Davido, and Wizkid showcasing the richness of our culture on global stages. These individuals are ambassadors of our nation’s potential and creativity, reminding us of the greatness we can achieve.

How many of us have the Nigerian flag in our homes and offices? Which is a symbol of patriotism.

Our forefathers have died, and we have inherited this country. We should work hard to make it better, honoring their legacy and striving to create a prosperous future. Nigeria is a divine project entrusted to us, endowed with abundant natural resources and awe-inspiring landscapes. We must steward these blessings with utmost care, fueled by unwavering patriotism and determination. Failure is not an option; our commitment to Nigeria runs deep.

“Despite the barrage of negative portrayals from international media, we have remained silent for too long. The foreign media mostly promotes negative news about Nigeria. Should we also do the same? It is time to reclaim our narrative, to showcase the true essence of our nation, and to counter misconceptions with pride and authenticity.

“Are we going to allow our colonial masters and foreigners to write our history for us? If you have written an article about the good you have seen in Nigeria recently, may God bless you. If you have not, please you need to do one and publish it henceforth. We can utilize social media and print media platforms to promote the interests of our great nation. Our patriotism must shine through, as we recognize that the future of Nigeria rests in our hands alone.

“We must not use negativity to chase away foreign investors, our anger must be properly channeled to the genuine issues that are confronting Nigeria namely: Electricity and Education just to name a few.

“Electricity: We can call a national forum regarding how to solve the problem of electricity in Nigeria and we must pursue the goal with vigor and patriotism. 

It is high time that Nigerians at home and abroad use their positions to change the narratives. The media must push for a law through the National Assembly that prevents senior government officials, appointees, and other senior public office holders from using generators and/or other alternatives to national power in their offices and homes except law enforcement agencies.”

Akinpelu Ayuba, Director, Human Capacity Development and Specialised Training from Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) who represented the General Manager of the Agency, Olalekan Bakare-Oki, urged journalists to give regular updates in their reportage

AIG Durosinmi who had earlier declared the event opened urged members of the public to be security conscious as security is everybody’s business. He said, ”Security is everybody’s business and anything about security should not be taken with levity.

”Men of the underworld have been creating problems here and there and are prepared to thwart the efforts of security agencies.

”At our end, we are working round the clock with our sister agencies to nip it in the bud.”


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