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  • Pharmacists advocate stiffer penalties for drug trafficking, abuse
  • The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has
    called on the Federal Government to ensure
    stiffer punishment for perpetrators of drug
    trafficking to curb the menace in the country.
    Mr Jelili Kilani, Chairman of PSN FCT Branch,
    made the call in an interview with the Newsmen
    in Abuja on Monday to mark International day
    of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
    The day is marked on June 26 annually by the
    United Nations and the 2017 theme is ‘Listen
    first’.
    Kilani noted that listening to children and youths
    was the first step to help them grow healthy and
    safe.
    Kilani, who is also the Assistant Director, Drug
    Information Services and Pharmacovigilant
    Activities, National Hospital, identified drug
    trafficking as detrimental to health and society at
    large.
    He said that drug trafficking was a global trade
    involving the cultivation, manufacturing,
    distribution and sales of substances, which were
    subject to drug prohibition law.
    Kilani decried the rate of drug trafficking and
    other substances in the country, and blamed it
    on Nigeria’s porous border, inappropriate
    measures to checkmate the menace and lack of
    stiffer punishments.
    He described drug abuse and trafficking as
    poison to the well-being of youths which posed
    greater challenges to the socio-economic and
    political stability of the country.
    “Our borders should be more tightened in terms
    of security to prevent easy access to illegal
    drugs into the country.
    “The government should ensure that whoever is
    caught will be made to face the law.
    “The problem we have with our legal system is
    that once somebody is guilty of the offence and
    able to afford lawyers he is set free.
    “This is not the case in other countries as soon
    as you are caught trafficking heroin or cocaine
    the perpetrator is sentence to death.
    “In Nigeria no capital punishment is applied
    hence people still engage in such unwholesome
    practices without caution.
    “We should always think of implications or
    havoc to individuals and the larger society.
    “Considering its harmful effect on individuals
    and society, government should ensure that
    anybody or group caught indulging in the act
    are severely dealt with to serve as deterrent to
    others.
    “Unless we reduce demand for illicit drugs we
    can never fully tackle cultivation, production or
    trafficking.
    “Government have a responsibility to counteract
    both drug trafficking and abuses,” Kilani said
    The International day of drug abuse and illicit
    trafficking is set aside by the United Nations to
    raise awareness on the major problems that
    illicit drugs represent to the society.
    UN General Assembly in December, 1987 set
    aside June 26 as International day against drug
    abuse and illicit trafficking in view of the growing
    menace of drug trafficking to the deterioration of
    quality of life,
    The day is commemorated to make people
    aware and emphasised the hazards of drug
    addiction and illegal trafficking.
    The day is supported by individuals,
    communities and various organisations all over
    the world to chart a course to rid the society of
    illicit drugs.

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