The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has said that an estimated 16 million Nigerians use Indian hemp while another seven million are on cocaine and heroin.
Ahmadu Giade, NDLEA chairman, disclosed this at the official presentation of an anti-drug abuse campaign tagged ‘Be Smart, Don’t Start’.
The campaign, which includes a television commercial, is jointly promoted by the Agency in collaboration with the Celebrity Drug-Free Club.
“77,488 suspected drug traffickers were arrested by the NDLEA between 2000 and 2013 for various drug offences even as over 100 officers died in the line of duty since the Agency commenced operations in 1990,” said Mr. Giade.
Members of the Celebrity Drug-Free Club that featured in the commercial include Dayo Adeneye, Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy and Chief Executive Officer of Prime Time Entertainment; Wilson Ighodalo, President of Drug Salvation Foundation and Convener of NDLEA Celebrity Drug-Free Club; and Azuh Arinze, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Yes Magazine.
Others include Godwin Enakhena, a sports broadcaster; Uche Nnaji, Chief Executive Officer of Ouch Clothing; and Wilson Joel, a music producer.
“These ambassadors are genuinely motivated to contribute their quota to the growth and development of our country,” said Mr. Giade.
“They have invested their time and material resources towards the success of this campaign. This is one community service that is worthy of emulation. The agency will continue to require the assistance and support of champions in various fields of human endeavours because effective drug control thrives on the principle of collective responsibility.”
While calling on families, schools, organizations and individuals to take the campaign beyond the television screen, the NDLEA boss urged international organizations, corporate bodies and individuals to take advantage of this opportunity by sponsoring the commercial on national and international media stations.
“We must continue to work very hard in reducing the number of persons who use drugs and also support the agency in preventing casualties in the war against drug cartels.
“Every contribution towards drug control is a worthy investment towards a peaceful and secure society. Let me appeal to donor agencies to see this as a viable investment opportunity.”
Mr. Ighodalo said members of the club were deeply committed to the anti-drug abuse campaign.