A group, Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), on Wednesday advised the Federal Government to partner the traditional rulers in tackling drug abuse, insecurity, and other forms of social ills in the country.
VGADA’s President, Dr Hope Abraham, who made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja said that curbing drug abuse among the youths was a collective effort.
He noted that royal fathers were generally believed to hold the key to the success or failure of successive administrations in the country.
According to him, the collaboration with the traditional rulers becomes necessary because they operate at the grassroots and interact closely with the people at that level.
Abraham said that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) being “underfunded and understaffed” could not fully combat these issues alone.
“The rising menace of drug and insecurity issues in Nigeria is a recipe for serious concern among stakeholders, including the traditional rulers.
“Royal fathers should be empowered to domesticate security at the grassroots, which constitutes higher per cent of the hideouts for drug peddlers and addicts.
“The NDLEA, saddled with this primary responsibility, is underfunded and understaffed.
“The agency should be equipped with modern tools, and should be paid good salaries including job security, to motivate them for maximal performance.”
Abraham said the ongoing recruitment of 5,000 personnel would go a long way in addressing the menace of drug abuse in Nigeria.
According to him, the traditional rulers at the grassroots get intelligence information firsthand, which helps to checkmate crimes.
“Security in the country today deserves a collective approach by the government, the traditional rulers, faith-based organisations, NGOs and the communities.
“Since Nigeria has an age-long historic relation with the neighbouring countries, the traditional rulers can assist the government in this regard,” he said.
Abraham noted that drug abuse had become so prevalent in some parts of the country that the future of youths and adults were at risk.
“The ultimate panacea is the implementation of robust youth-based programmes and empowerment for the Nigerian youth.
“The root of every security threat is unemployment. Addressing this will halt the menace of criminality and clean our country of social vices,” he said.