- President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to implement a report by a committee set up the federal government
- The Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse was set up by the president last year
- The Initiative for a Drug-Free Africa Volunteers wants the committee's report implemented immediately
A group, Initiative for a Drug-Free Africa Volunteers (IFDFA) has commenced sensitizing members of the public against drug abuse especially as the world battles with coronavirus.
The chairman of the board of trustees of IFDFA, Dr Kenneth Ibe-Kalu, revealed this on Monday, March 30 at a press briefing in Abuja.
The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently set up a machinery to implement the recent General Buba Marwa's committee report.
Marwa, a former military administrator in Lagos state, is the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse.
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The committee submitted its report to President Buhari in October 2019 with a damning report that over 14 million Nigerians are actively involved in drugs.
IFDFA says there is a lacuna between the various relevant agencies who do not have the convening authority to drive the campaign to where others will respect it.
“Part of the report the unfortunate lack of synergy which would have led to proper and efficient coordination, partnership and collaboration,” Dr Ibe Kalu said.
He continued: “IFDFA make bold to say that this is the appropriate time to implement the report.
“Hence, we are taking it upon ourselves to mobilise national stakeholders for this patriotic call for action.
“We are convinced that this coronavirus pandemic could escalate drug abuse and others to an uncontrollable percentage with its attendant health and development challenges.
“There is an increasing abuse of prescription drugs such as chloroquine, oral artemisinin-based monotherapy (OAMTS), e.t.c
“IFDFA fear that this will increase the health complications of several citizens in a post coronavirus era by 1000%.
“IFDFA calls for a coordinated community-based total health campaign in Nigeria and all African countries aimed at complementing government efforts in strengthening the health sector towards realizing sustainable development goals.
“IFDFA single goal is to achieve 40% drug-free Africa reality which coronavirus pandemic is about to escalate.”
Meanwhile, the Northern Solidarity Front has berated the National Orientation Agency (NOA) for not doing enough in sensitising Nigerians on the dangers associated with the dreaded coronavirus.
The group was reacting to a news report by an international news outlet, the Al Jazeera, citing the lack of sensitization in Nigeria regarding the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
In a press statement released to journalists in Abuja and signed by its leader, Garuda Ahmed on Friday, March 27, the group lambasted the NOA for “sitting idle instead of carrying out the main objectives.”
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