Three organisations – Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) – on Saturday staged a walk against drug and human trafficking in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the walk was to commemorate United Nations World Day Against Drug and Human Trafficking.
CRAN president Sunday Odita, while addressing newsmen, said that the decision to key into the UN programme stemmed from the underlying fact that drug abuse and human trafficking had become a horrifying menace that had torn the fabrics of the society, with attendant effect on youths.
Odita added that the menace of drug trafficking should not only be tackled by youths, but everyone as it affected all.
The CRAN president urged students that participated in the walk to take the campaign against indiscriminate use of drugs to their schools.
“We have to take the campaign to schools now. You students should form clubs to fight this. CRAN is ready to sponsor it. Your teachers will guide you.
“You can organise programmes and invite us, we will come to your schools along with NDLEA officials. We need to start catching you young.
“Do not be the one mixing different hard drugs together for consumption. We all need to join hands and together we can tackle the world drug problem,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, also commended the efforts of CRAN in organising the walk, pointing out that drug abuse had negative effects on youths.
Odumosu, while recalling the case of a student currently in Police net for allegedly stabbing a man to death, quoted her as confessing that she took various hard drugs before the act.
“One cannot downplay the negative effects of drugs on our youths. This morning, I read of how a boy killed his father and sold his body to a ritualist.
“At the time he was arrested, he blamed his crime on the influence of drugs. So, it is better we catch them young. What we are doing now is collaboration with the Federal and state governments as well as the society.
“Drug is evil; when you see those under the influence of drugs, you see them killing people, going for robbery and by the time they are arrested, they look like jelly, the drug would have subsided in their body systems.
“Please keep this up. We are using this medium to appeal to parents and guardians. They should monitor the movement of their wards. Be interested in their friends, what they take in, and so on.
“When they are going to school, check their bags, when they are back, check their bags because the drug problem we are having in this country is a failure of the family. The parents have a lot to do than even the teachers,” he said.
Mr Mallum Musa, Public Relations Officer, NDLEA, Lagos Command, expressed excitement for being part of the walk, stressing that the fight against drug abuse remained a collective responsibility.
“Without collaboration, the war against drug abuse and illicit trafficking will not be won, so I really commend CRAN for putting this together.
“The theme for this year’s UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking says: ‘Share Facts About Drugs and Save Lives’.
“So, today, we have shared facts to the public and these facts that we shared are going to save so many lives from the dangers of drug abuse and illegal trafficking,” he said.
NAN reports that officials of LASTMA and NEMA also participated in the walk which started from the CRAN Press Centre at Oduduwa Way, GRA, Ikeja through Isaac John to Maryland and back to Oduduwa.