President Buhari Speaks On Retirement As Nigeria's President
President Muhammadu Buhari (Image: State House)

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that winning the war against drug abuse remains one of the critical elements of the Next Level mandate of his administration.

The President stated this on Friday when he received the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA).

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He reiterated the commitment of the government to the welfare of the citizenry by fighting the scourge of drug abuse.

“Winning the war becomes one of the critical elements of the Next Level mandate of this administration. As a government, we have the responsibility to ensure the security and well-being of our people.

“Our findings have shown that it is more difficult to bring down crime rate to acceptable levels without clearing our country of substance abuse,” the President said.

President Buhari, however, realising the enormity of the menace, solicited for the cooperation of all and sundry. He called on all well-meaning Nigerians and international partners to join hands with relevant government agencies in the fight against drug abuse.

While thanking the committee for its timely and diligent prosecution of the assignment, the President assured that the matter was of utmost importance, and the report would be studied along with the recommendations.

Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (retd) had told the President that since the committee was inaugurated on December 2018, it interfaced with a wide spectrum of stakeholders including Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Non-Governmental organisations, Civil Society Organisations, Faith-based Organisations, professional bodies, international partners and members of drug user communities with their parents, teachers and caregivers.

He added that the assignment, which took members to all the geopolitical zones of the country, confirmed the fears of President Buhari that Nigeria had a very strong drug problem that needed to be tackled as a national emergency.

He, however, said the key to tackling the menace is a formal launch of a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) as part of the declaration of a state of emergency on the menace as well as the establishment of a National Drug Control Commission.

The committee is saddled with the responsibility of working toward reducing the level of drug abuse in the country.

Marwa had in January during an official visit to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Musa Bello, disclosed that over 14 million people in the country were actively abusing drugs.