*** drug abuse, major cause of insecurity says NSA
Determined to address the worsening security problem plaguing the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has given a marching order to the National Security Council to review their strategies with a view to ensuring that the war against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes were halted.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the National Security Council meeting, presided over by President Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday, the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno said the president has asked the security team to review their operation and intelligence strategies as the situation was becoming worrisome.
“Mr President has also directed that we must rejig our strategy that is both in terms of operation and intelligence we must rejig our strategy to prevent further catastrophe.
“We must bear in mind that we owe a duty to the people that elected his government, our government and at the end of the day without securing the nation all other things cannot be addressed such as revamping the economy and also fighting corruption.’’
He further disclosed that his office presented a memo to the Security Council on one of the major reasons for the collapsing security in the country which he identified as increasing level of drug abuse in the society.
According to him,about 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed between 2011 and 2019, adding that illegal cultivators of `Cannabis’ were also identified and destroyed.
“I presented two memos. The first had to do with drug trafficking as well as drug addiction in Nigeria, and the widespread use of these substances and the dangerous impact on our social, economic situation.
“Basically, what I told the council was that this has taken on a worrisome dimension. Nigeria’s perception of the drug trafficking index has changed from the status from a transit hub to a production centre.
“Between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed. That is a large number.
“At the same, we have had increasing activities of illegal cultivators of Cannabis in Nigeria.
“These people basically use extremely large space of arable land to cultivate this illegal substance, employing militiamen to protect their farms and also their storage facilities.
“When you look at drugs, our main concern as security operatives is the ultimate destruction to the social fabric and economy of the nation.
“There is hardly any violent crime today in Nigeria that is not propelled by the use of these hard substances. And these hard substances have been coming in from all nooks and crannies,’’ he said.
Monguno believed that the reckless use of these dangerous substances had a direct link to the insecurity being experienced across the country.
He, therefore, stressed the need for a collective, concerted effort to deal with the menace of dangerous drugs in circulation to safeguard the country from the bottomless pit of self-destruction.
The NSA boss disclosed that he later updated the Council on the security situation in the northwest and the north-central, “in terms of looking at the issue of kidnapping, banditry and killing of innocent people.’’
“The Chief of Defence Staff, the army chief, inspector general of Police, heads of the various intelligence agencies also gave synopsis each of the current security situation and what their various organizations and agencies are doing about these situations,’’ he added.
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