Stakeholders in the war against drugs and human trafficking have described drug abuse as worse than killers diseases; Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ( AIDS) and Ebola. The stakeholders who spoke Wednesday in an event organised by the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) ,to mark the World Day Against Drug and Human Trafficking with the them ‘Drugs are addictive, escaping is hard, don’t start’ unanimously agreed that all hands must be on the decks to fight drug abuse and human trafficking to finish as they exterminate people more than the killer diseases, AIDS and Ebola.
Human rights activist, Dr. Joe Okie -Odumakin, said there was a need to declare a state of emergency on drugs and human trafficking as there were not enough hands to deal with their menace in the society.
“Drug abuse is an abnormal use of drug and too much of everything is bad. There is a nexus between drug abuse and human trafficking as the recruitment are sometimes through drug abuse. The government and Nigerians should declare a state of emergency to the killer diseases that kill faster than AIDS and Ebola.
“To overcome drug abuse and human trafficking, one needs to deal with the triggers which sometimes come in the form of boredom, depression, loneliness, anger, rejection, anxiety and stress. We also need to talk to ourselves as the root is the heart. We can replace these bad habits with good habits like sports. Choose to make a difference, no matter the case, be part of the situation. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles” she said.
Mrs. Helen Onwuzuwike, a Controller of Immigration, who represented the Controller -General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, said it has been observed that more people are going into drugs which breed crime in the society. Drug abuse leads to suicide which is happening at a very high rate in the society. Adults and even children are not left out. We should fight the war against the two killer diseases with our whole heart and every resources and information available to curtail it.
“We are happy for a seminar like this which aims at spreading the message to curb the menace. We at the immigration will also spread the word that drug is not good for us, it’s not good for our children, our parents and members of the society. Drug abuse is killing people like mad, how do you expect someone to drink sniper or jump into the lagoon if not with the influence of drugs? “.She added that the Federal Government is working towards making the border more secured to control illegal movement of persons especially those involved in human trafficking.
Venerable Adegoke Agara, Dean AVMCC Anglican Cathedral, who was a guest lecturer at the event, said that religious organizations should not leave the war against drug abuse and human trafficking to the government and the media alone, but should use the pulpits to preach on the evil.
He added that the issue of the drug was becoming too worrisome as the scourge was entering into secondary and primary school levels.
“We need to make people know that drug is dangerous and we should not succumb to peer pressure as a lot of destiny had been destroyed because of this. If there is a problem in a place, God does not come down to solve the problem but puts the burden on people who will act on it which is what we are doing now. I pray that we act on whatever we discuss here today.
“Human trafficking is also modern-day slavery and I pray that God will see us through. Drug abuse is taking illegal substances that cause addiction and loss of consciousness. An average child has the tendency of going out and gets influenced with drugs but it takes a trained child to desist from it.
“The theme of today’s seminar is “Drugs are addictive, escaping is hard, don’t start” which is why we should not go into it. Churches should be involved in educating people not to go into it at all.” He said. President CRAN, Mr. Sunday Odita, said the event was a seed that CRAN was sowing to stop the menace of drug abuse. We deemed it fit to kick start this campaign to enlighten people being deceived into drugs and human trafficking.
“How long are we going to continue to say that the menace of drug abuse is not our concern, what happens when our children become victims. Everyone has to come together so that we can talk about how we can at least, reduce drug abuse.
“The challenge ,we however , have in reporting cases of drug abuse and human trafficking is that victims shy away from sharing their stories because of the stigma.
” he said.
He urged members of the public to speak up whenever they find themselves in a critical situation like drug abuse, adding that it was cheaper to prevent addiction than to cure.
Mrs. Comfort Sanni, who represented the NAPTIP Lagos Zonal Commander, Mr. Daniel Otukolo, emphasized the need for all security agencies to embrace partnership in tackling the menace of drug abuse and human trafficking.
According to her, the media and members of the public should carry out serious enlightenment campaign not only in the urban areas but to the interior.
Dr. Bone Efoziem, CEO Strict Guards Security, said it would be difficult for a society to have a future without the younger generation, adding that the menace of drug abuse needed to be tackled as it was affecting the youths more.
Dr. Efoziem said the issue of drug abuse needed to be addressed as it concerns everyone. “Drug abuse is all about any urge to use a drug not minding the consequences, therefore, addiction makes it difficult for you to resist. There is a need to look at the root cause of addiction which is abuse. Without abuse, there can’t be an addiction.” he said. He urged parents to always check on their children as any vacuum created can be occupied with.
Philomena Ngozi Christopher-Oji was born to the family of the late Michael and Cecilia Ojeogwu of Ubulu-Uku, in Aniocha South Local Government Area, Delta State. She had her primary and secondary education in Nwanoli and Ezemu Girls College, in Ubulu-Uku, before she proceeded to the Delta State University, Abraka, where she studied English and Literary Studies.