Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) has commended members and leaders of the House of Representatives (HoR) for rejecting yet another attempt to push through a bill to decriminalise cannabis cultivation, sale and use in Nigeria.
The bill was rejected on the floor of the Green Chamber of the National Assembly on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
Responding to the development on Friday, the NDLEA boss said that the decision by a majority of the lawmakers to reject the bill will further strengthen the gains so far made in the renewed war against drug abuse and trafficking in the country.
This was conveyed in a statement issued by the anti-narcotic agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi.
Marwa explained that the 2018 drug survey figure of 10.6million Nigerians abusing cannabis alone is enough to sound the alarm bell, adding that the strong nexus between drug abuse and the security challenges across the country is incontrovertible.
According to him, “Insecurity is today, a full-blown malady with many manifestations such as insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, murder, robbery, reprisal killing, name it. Yet there has never been a government that is more committed to ending this spate of insecurity than the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The President has matched political willpower with resources, but the scope and frequency of these acts of destabilisation and the audacity displayed by the perpetrators call for a second, critical look at the malaise. The persistence of the problem has forced on us the necessity to start to look at likely extraneous factors that might be sustaining the resistance from the criminal elements and in doing so, try to connect the dots.
“The permutations will lead to a list of probable causes, which will not exclude the use and abuse of illicit substances. In the final analysis, drug abuse is indeed one of the factors fueling insecurity. As such, Nigeria cannot afford to permit the cultivation, sale and use of the most abused illicit drug under whatever guise.
“This is why the decision by the honorable members of the House of Representatives to reject the reintroduction of the cannabis bill is a welcome and cheering news to us in NDLEA and the Nigerian public especially parents who daily and silently contend with the pains of seeing millions of their kids and wards go down under the devastating effects of cannabis abuse.”
Marwa said that history will never forget those who stand with parents to protect them and their children from any legislation, under any shape or form, that will turn Nigeria to a nation of junkies and criminals, which will amount to taking a step forward and ten steps backward in the prevailing circumstance.