World Drug report Y2021 revealed that about 275 million people utilised illicit drugs in Y2020, which is cast to rise by 11% by 2030 globally, and as much as 40% in Africa.
Taking the fight against drug abuse to the centre panorama in Ikorodu, as the orb marks International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Ikorodu Area Command took to the alcoves and apertures in Ikorodu central.
NDLEA, An established Federal law enforcement agency in Nigeria under the Federal Ministry of Justice charged with eliminating the growing, processing, manufacturing, selling, exporting, and trafficking of hard drugs, made its presence felt on the 27th of June 2022.
Collaborating with Ikorodu Entertainers association (IKEA), plopping beneficial synergy in full display, residents were admonished for substantial fact-sharing on the threats of drug abuse and illicit trafficking as well as evidence-based precluding, medication and care resources convenient to citizens, in order to handle drug challenges facing the community.
From its office point at Akasolori en route to the ever busy Sabo market area, the program which commenced with a sensitisation walk, moved down to Ikorodu garage, chopping through benson and proceeded to the Lagos state university of science and technology (formerly LASPOTEC), before converging all crusaders at the Haven event centre for enlightened talk and lectures.
According to Isiaak Lawal Opeloyeru, Assistant Commander of Nacotics (ACN) post sensitisation walk, “If wealth is lost, nothing is lost but if health is lost, All is lost, thus maintaining health by staying drug-free is key”.
Conveying that illicit drugs control is the first line of action against insecurity and crimes, Mr Lawal urged all to work together in order to clear the territory of the peril of unlawful prescriptions.
Mr Lawal continued, “Let us expose and eradicate drug dealers in our communities. Drug baron next door is like a snake in your house, any member of your household could end up being a victim”.
“As an agency at the centre stage of this crises, NDLEA Ikorodu area command is using this landmark day to charge residents across Ikorodu division to arm themselves with the proficiency about drug abuse and it’s effects”.
“We must start promoting a drug free life style for our young ones to see, providing them with good mentorship by not indirectly stimulating the use and sales of illicit drugs, let us all assist NDLEA in propagating this anti-drug abuse massages” Mr Lawal asserted
Mrs Sanni EdagbagbeOluwaranti Bilikis (Assistant Commander of Narcotics (ACN) Professional Counselor in Charge Drug Demand Reduction Units of Ikorodu Area Command, Kasolori) explained the need to guide people against the use of drugs as a coping means during nature and humanitarian emergencies, pinpointing that negative coping mechanism will only exacerbate the problem.
Mrs Sanni Bilikis, in her brief lecture, said that fact sharing on the drug situation is the obligation of all stakeholders and inhabitants, expanding that it is only when everyone dabbles their part that the objective of a world free of drug abuse can be accomplished.
Projecting from a sliding screen, she further stated, “Everyone should get information on drug abuse and illicit use from checkable references, overflow the understanding to our primary household and neighbours and proportion only tangible facts. It is by performing so that we can protect lives and achieve a society that is drug abuse free”.
“People dominated by health or humanitarian problems are weak to drug abuse or substance use ailments, that’s why we advise individuals to speak out and get help when necessary because self-isolation is dangerous” Mrs Sanni added
During the contribution and Q/A session, suggestions poured in on how the fight against drug abuse can be worked on from different bodies including royal delegates representing the Oba Of Ikorodu Kingdom, Oba Kabir Adewale Shotobi, youth organisations as well as entertainers.
From producing jingles to educate residents on drug abuse and its menace, to creating more trust between the law enforcement agencies and tip givers to uncover drug traffickers, it was a brainstorming forum that crescendo into a positive dialogue.
Thanking everyone for their role in making the program a success, Mr Lawal conveyed that the agency will persist to play its role by increasing public refinement crusades in numerous spots including motor parks, schools, youth centres, and marketplaces.
He concluded by affirming that the agency is very much open to subsequent partnerships to amplify the crusades across every nook and cranny.
“On this note, I want to thank and appreciate Ikorodu Entertainers Association for this wonderful collaboration. Let me put on record that last year’s event was sponsored by Kayfa Hotels, Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative has been a wonderful partner, the donation of operational vehicles and motorcycles by the organisation has changed our drug enforcement, as well as drug demand reduction from redundancy to vibrancy, our transport unions, community pharmacist, Sister Security Agencies and indeed the contributions of all stakeholders, have demonstrated that the community have taken ownership of the drug war”.
“We need to let the people know that taking drugs during challenging times will not solve any problem as it would only worsen the situation. The key point here is that we should learn to say no to drugs and say yes to life” Mr Lawal surmised
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