The National Association of Nigerian Drug Monitoring (NANDRUM), is now working in collaboration with the Joint National Assembly Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, to combat drug abuse and peddling of illicit drugs in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

NANDRUM is also collaborating with other relevant agencies of government such as the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, Nigeria Correctional Service and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), among others, towards stamping out this societal menace.

This was as the executive secretary of NANDRUM, Dr. Christabel Okoye, yesterday, challenged parents and guardians to wake up from slumber and nip the menace of drug abuse amongst their children and wards.

Speaking at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, during the inauguration of the NANDRUM, FCT Chapter, Dr Okoye, explained that the association was established to join hands with the relevant agencies of the federal government to tackle the menace of drug abuse, illicit drug trafficking and sensitise the general public on the dangers of the scourge in the society.

She also stated that part of the mandate of NANDRUM is to bring medicine dealers together in one voice and one vision, targeted at addressing the ravaging menace in the society, noting that medicine dealers are also members of the association.

Okoye disclosed that NANDRUM had been inaugurated in Anambra, Lagos, Abia, Delta, Kano and Enugu, expressing delight that, with the FCT Chapter being inaugurated, it was a positive signal that the war against drug abuse, illicit drug trafficking and sale of government prohibited drugs was being won by government, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

“This is a fight for all, so we should all join hands together in achieving our goal as members of this great association. Women should sit down and take absolute care of their children. The nation is bleeding because of the menacing effects of substance abuse in the country,” she said.

She commended the chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Senator Hezekiah Dimka and his House of Representatives’ counterpart, Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo, for their unalloyed support for NANDRUM, noting that the politicians were unavoidably absent from the event due to the ongoing political campaigns, ahead of the February 25th presidential and National Assembly elections in the country.

Also speaking at the inauguration, the acting clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Tambuwal, commended the executive secretary of NANDRUM for constituting the FCT Chapter of the association, saying that the initiative came timely, as there was bound to be increase in substance intake by the youths and other vulnerable individuals, who might be tools for mischief in the forthcoming polls.

Commending the National Assembly Joint Committee for its support to the National Drug Law Enforcement (Agency NDLEA), and other allied agencies in tackling drug related problems, Tambuwal put a caveat that full success in the drug war could only be achieved through adequate budgetary provisions to the relevant agencies, to effectively execute their statutory functions.

He also suggested that loopholes in the various acts establishing the agencies should be plugged through amendments by the National Assembly, just as he advocated adequate punitive sanctions to enable judicial arm to apply the laws appropriately.

Admitting that government agencies alone cannot fight the menace of drug abuse and trafficking, the acting CNA, urged all Nigerians to join hands with NANDRUM in tackling this vice.

Representatives of different stakeholders including the Police, FRSC, NSCDC, traditional institution, correctional service, West Africa Youth Congress, among others, all commended the NANDRUM for its efforts in fighting drug related problems in the country.