Nigeria’s Senate President Dr. Ahmad Lawan on Thursday attributed the lingering insecurity in the country to the activities of drug barons.
He accused those he described as drug barons of funding insurgent groups such as Boko Haram, bandits and kidnappers as well as supplying them with arms and ammunition.
Lawan told the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd), who visited him in Abuja that drug barons who engage in trafficking heroine, cannabis and cocaine have made Nigeria a major transit route for plying their illicit trade.
He, therefore, called for the restructuring of the NDLEA to empower it to deal with drug traffickers.
He assured Marwa that the National Assembly would support the agency by amending the NDLEA Act with a view to enabling the it achieve its core mandates.
Lawan also expressed concern about the rising incidence of drug addiction and underscored the need for multi-dimensional efforts across the various agencies of governments aimed at tackling underlying causes such as illiteracy, unemployment and poverty, responsible for the exposure of youths to criminal tendencies.
He also advocated the inclusion of drug education in school curricular.
Earlier, Marwa had said the Senate under Lawan had shown support for the agency by its determination to the review the NDLEA Act.
According to him, it is important to correct some of the lapses in the Act that was promulgated in 1989, warning that Nigeria is currently in a state of siege.
Marwa said: ”The drug affliction is actually the number one problem we are facing, it is everywhere. First of all, it destroys our kids, women, our youths, and the family system. Secondly, it is behind the criminalities everywhere now.
“You have to be crazy to commit some of these criminalities, and what fuels it is drug abuse. Even the insurgents and bandits themselves, they take drugs before they go into their activities.”
Deji Elumoye and Udora Orizu in Abuja