InformAfrica have gathered via ChannelsTV, that the Nigerian government have vowed to no longer beg for forgiveness on behalf of any Nigerian convicted on drug trafficking charges in any given foreign country.
With more than a million Nigerians in different foreign prisons on account of drug related offences the federal government has warned that it will not appeal for clemency on behalf of anyone indicted in any country across the world.
The government’s position was announced by the office of Secretary to the government, at an event to mark the 2012 International Day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
An aide of the Secretary to the government , Mr Ferdinand Agu said while government will continue to support law abiding Nigerians, drug traffickers will not be assisted by the government because they are fully aware of the consequences of their actions.
He advised Nigerians to seek ways of earning an honest living even as the government continue to work towards providing the adequate environment for them to thrive, to avoid falling into that state of hopelessness.
The Senate President, David Mark also recently declared the nation’s upper legislature will not intervene in cases of Nigerians found guilty of criminal activities in foreign countries. He however said that the government would not allow any Nigerian to be unfairly treated in foreign nations.
The chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the country representative of the United Nations office on drug and crimes, the director general of National Agency for Food and Drug Control (NAFDAC) and the executive secretary of NAPTIP, school children and Nigerians drawn from different works of life were all present at an event to mark the international day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
Although the year under review indicates that 3,028 persons have been arrested for drug trafficking and about 66.273kilograms of illicit drugs confiscated, what has become more worrisome is the increasing level of the use of hard drugs in Nigeria, which also regarded as a transit country.
Experts say there is a need to shift from supply suppression to demand reduction as statistics indicate that the use of hard drugs in Nigeria is growing at an increasing rate.
With these alarming statistics, the NDLEA is evolving strategies that will go beyond the enforcement of laws guarding against the abuse and illicit trafficking of drugs to preventive measures that will curtail the urge for use and trading, especially amongst young Nigerians.
And for those who dare to traffic these drugs outside the shore of the country, the federal government warns that it will not be drawn into negotiations for clemency on their behalf.
While the awareness of the problems of drug abuse and trafficking are brought to the front burner at forums such as this ,experts say that efforts to fight the menace will only be effective if they are rooted in partnerships with the young, old, civil society, government and international community.