COMMUNITY Intervention Network on Drugs (CIND), which comprises civil society organisations involved in drug prevention education, rehabilitation, research and policy engagement, led Nigeria to mark the ‘Global Day of Action’ with the message ‘Support Don’t Punish’, with reference to drug dependent citizens.
|Dr. Ebiti William|
Coordinator of CIND, Dr. Ebiti William said the Network decided to carry the global message to government enforcement agencies including the Nigeria Police and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) amongst others. According to him the aim of the global message is to raise support for the decriminalisation of citizens dependent on drugs. He noted that some drug dependents may be struggling with a medical condition. He further stated that over time, criminalising users has not worked. This therefore calls for a change in strategy.
|AIG Kaumi Ahmadu|
Receiving the network during the courtesy visit to the Force Headquarters, the Force Medical Officer, AIG Kaumi Ahmadu thanked the team for their effort at keeping all stakeholders abreast of international trends and best practices. He assured that the Nigerian Police is now reformed to deal with emerging trends, and pledged the support of the Police. The Principal Staff Officer (PSO), Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) of NDLEA, Mr. Suleiman Labo, speaking during a visit to the NDLEA Abuja office emphasised that generally speaking, the NDLEA does not prosecute drug users. They are counselled and supported, he stated. He advocated for community based treatment to deal with Nigeria's drug abuse menace.
In an interview, Dr. Ebiti expressed happiness that enforcing agencies are identifying with the global campaign. He urged all Nigerians to also follow the trend.
|L-R. Aisha Abubakar, Adeolu Ogunrombi|
Some organisations that make up CIND include Parents Against Drug Abuse (PADA) led by Aisha Abubakar and Adeolu Ogunrombi’s Youth Rise Foundation.
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