By Abba Gwale

Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Retired Brig.-Gen Buba Marwa, has suggested that parents should, from now, include drug certificate as part of the criteria to give their daughters and sons’ hands in marriage.

Marwa said this on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti at a colloquium tagged: “Walk Away from Drugs’’, a programme organised by Ekiti Ministry of Justice.

“This will be the beginning in reducing drug usage and its prevailing economic effects on the nation,’’ he said.

He also lamented the prevalence of drug abuse in the country adding that the agency had seized illicit drugs worth more than N60 billion in the last two months describing the menace of drug abuse in the country as “worrisome’’.

He said in Nigeria today, there is no challenge that is more worrisome than drug abuse among the people.

“For instance, insurgency, kidnapping and banditry are seen as peculiar to certain parts of the country, but drug abuse has no boundary or respect for ethnicity or religion.

“The menace is so worrisome that within the last two months, more than N60 billion worth of illicit drugs have been seized and perpetrators arrested and prosecuted,” he said.

He however said If access to drugs is prevented, criminality can be reduced by 50 per cent.

Declaring open the event, Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, restated the commitment of his administration to reducing drug abuse.

Fayemi, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, urged participants to take the deliberation seriously and to evolve implementable plans to rid the society of the menace.

In his address of welcome, Ekiti State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Wale Fapounda, said that the programme was organised because of alarming cases of drug-induced criminality in the society.

“In most cases prosecuted by the ministry, investigations showed crime perpetrators were under the influence of drugs,’’ he said.

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