Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Ret.), Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), commended members and leaders of the House of Representatives for rejecting yet another attempt to decriminalise cannabis cultivation, sale, and use in Nigeria on the floor of the National Assembly.
In response to the development on the floor of the National Assembly on Thursday that killed the plan to legalise cannabis in Nigeria, the NDLEA stated on Friday that the decision by a majority of lawmakers to reject the bill will strengthen the gains made thus far in the country’s renewed war against drug abuse and trafficking.
The 10,6 million Nigerians who abused cannabis in 2018, according to a 2018 drug survey, is enough to sound the alarm, he said, adding that the link between drug consumption and the country’s security issues is undeniable.
According to him, insecurity is a full-blown disease with multiple forms, including insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, murder, robbery, and retaliation killing. But, there has never been a government more determined to eradicating this epidemic of insecurity than President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The President has matched political will with resources, but the scale and regularity of these actions of destabilisation, as well as the audacity of their perpetrators, necessitate a second, critical examination of the illness.
“The continuation of the problem has compelled us to investigate any external variables that may be maintaining the resistance of criminal elements, and to attempt to connect the dots. The permutations will result in a list of potential explanations, which will not eliminate drug use and misuse. In the final analysis, substance misuse is one of the causes of insecurity. As a result, Nigeria cannot afford to allow the cultivation, sale, or consumption of the most widely misused illegal substance under any pretence.
“Therefore, the decision by the honourable members of the House of Representatives to reject the reintroduction of the cannabis bill is a welcome and encouraging development for us in NDLEA and the Nigerian public, particularly parents who daily and silently endure the agony of witnessing millions of their children and wards succumb to the devastating effects of cannabis abuse.”
Marwa added that history will never forget those who stand with parents to protect them and their children from any legislation that will transform Nigeria into a nation of drug addicts and criminals, which would be equivalent to taking one step forward and ten steps backward in the current situation.