Declare state of emergency on illicit drug, Edo Assembly urges FG

The Speaker of Edo House of Assembly, Mr Blessing Agbebaku has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on substance abuse and illicit drugs trafficking in Nigeria.

The speaker, made the call in Benin while addressing a rally organised by Smile Africa International Youth Initiative, an NGO, to mark the 2024 International Day against Drug Abuse.

“I am sad and concerned about the drug abuse pandemic the country is grappling with; and we should be passionate about the health of our youths,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants of the rally were at the Edo State House of Assembly to mark the day usually celebrated on June 26 every year.

Agbebaku who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Mrs Maria Oligbi-Edeko, said a state of emergency was the only solution towards tackling the menace.

Agbebaku said that drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking were the bane of criminality in the state and nation at large.

The speaker described drug traffickers as the worst criminals that should not be tolerated in any community that wants to make progress.

He explained that hard drugs presents multifaceted challenges that touch the lives of millions of people, adding that the impact of drug abuse is far-reaching and complex.

Agbebaku listed some of the problems associated with drug abuse to include individual struggling with substance use disorders and struggle with consequences of drug trafficking and crimes.

“If you have been following the house activities, you would know that the house has passed several resolutions on the need to prevent drug abuse and trafficking.

“Today, we are sad that drug is destroying communities in the country and everyone is pretending not to see it.

“Drugs are now being sold freely in certain locations in the state and yet not much is being done to check the menace,’’ he said.

The speaker suggested that the federal government should declare a state of emergency to effectively deal with the situation.

Agbebaku assured that the house would join to carry out sustained enlightenment campaigns against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

“Taking to drugs is a journey of no return; rehabilitation does not often solve the problem, so we need to speak out to prevent our children from the menace,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Executive Director of Smiles Africa International Youth Development Initiative, Mr Purpose Iserhienrhien, said they were at the assembly complex in support of the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking in the state.

Iserhienrhien said that the day afforded them the opportunity to call for collective action to combat the scourge of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

“The impacts of drugs extend beyond individual users to the entire societies; it threatens the health, safety and prosperity of our population,” he said.

The speaker called on the state government to invest in prevention programmes to address the challenges posed by drug abuse.

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Written by Nike

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