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ASHRAAF Islamic Foundation, Stakeholders Advocate For Drug-free Society, Link Sustance Abuse To Nigeria's Crime Rate
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ASHRAAF Islamic Foundation, Stakeholders Advocate For Drug-free Society, Link Substance Abuse To Nigeria’s Crime Rate

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Worried that use of illicit drugs and substance abuse are on the rise in Nigeria, the ASHRAAF Islamic Foundation has held its 6th Annual Ramadan Lecture And Special Prayer For The Nation 2023 (1444:AH), on theme “Drug Abuse, Criminality And Insecurity In Nigeria: Towards A Collective Solution.

The stakeholders at the event harpped on the need to curb rising drug misuse and addictions as United Nations report in 2018 recorded that one out of every four drug users in Nigeria is a female.

Therefore, linking crime rate to drug abuse, the Founder/Chairman of the Foundation, Dr Sharafudeen Abdussalam Aliagan, an Imam, told journalists that the objective of the event was to find a lasting solution to the negative effects of substance abuse in the country.

Imam Dr Sharafudeen Abdussalam Aliagan
Imam (Dr.) Sharafudeen Abdulsalam Aliagan

He said: ”We have a lot of professionals, we have lots of academicians and many people who really know what is going on in the sociery.

“We put heads together having discovered what the menace of drug abuse is and its rampant in the society.

”Drug abuse, criminality, insecurity; we know that is exactly what is affecting us in the country, as we speak that is our major problem”, he said.

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Imam Dr Aliagan who noted that the foundation’s annual lecture series focuses on topical issues, discussed that the outcomes of such discussion were presented to the government and Nigerians in form of a report to assist in finding solutions to problems in the society.

He said, ”And when we discussed this and we are able to bring out the report to the government and the generality of Nigerians, there will be some high level of solutions to this menace.” ASHRAAF Islamic Foundation, Stakeholders Advocate For Drug-free Society, Link Sustance Abuse To Nigeria's Crime Rate

According to Imam Dr Aliagan, the foundation usually invited Muslim and non-Muslim professionals and academics to brainstorm to find a lasting solution to society’s menace.

Linking druge abuse to crime rate in the country, he said: “those who are into kidnapping, insurgency and rubbery must have taken one of these intoxicants which help them to perpetrated their evil acts.”

Asked how ASHRAAF Islamic Foundation is funded, the founder noted that there is no regular funding sources or sponsorship beyond personal contributions members and support from family and friends.

Professor Adam Okene Ahmed
Professor Adam Okene Ahmed

In a chat with newsmen, the Chairman of the Occasion and the Defence College Nigeria Provost, Prof. Adam Okene Ahmed, aligned with calls for drug test for all public office seekers in the country.

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He said: “Some political appointees and elected persons when they behave you will know clearly that they are high on drugs.

”And the same thing some technocrats and some security personnel, so it is widespread.” ASHRAAF Islamic Foundation, Stakeholders Advocate For Drug-free Society, Link Sustance Abuse To Nigeria's Crime Rate

Ahmed, who was the Chairman of the occasion said in Malaysia, Philippines and some South American countries politicians were tested before they were given power.

He added: “Not just that every person that is holding power including the military, security people are tested before they are given a very serious responsibility.

“Because, leaders have a way of influencing followers, if they are known to misuse drugs, the tendency is that those that are behind them will also be involved.

”So, that is why I believe strongly that no one should be given any serious responsibility until the person is tested for drugs.”

Ahmed called on those that were responsible for drug legislation and administration of anti drug use to be more proactive in tackling the incidences of drug abuse in the country.

He also emphasised the need for the government to identify various groups like the ashraaf islamic foundation to spearhead the campaign against drug abuse in the country. ASHRAAF Islamic Foundation, Stakeholders Advocate For Drug-free Society, Link Sustance Abuse To Nigeria's Crime Rate

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Ahmed said: “Drug abuse in Nigeria and misuse of drug by the people are worst than any kind of crime that we think.

“Because the bulk of the crime that is committed in this country can be traced to drug abuse or misuse of drug, be it political, criminal, security even at home, social, economic, all can be linked to drug abuse.

”I think in the beginning, we never took the fight against drug abuse serious in this country.

“Yes, during the military, there were draconian laws which fortunately some people hade ven called such laws should be returned where drug pushers were killed.

”But then after that, we went through a period where everything goes as far as drug is concerned in this country.”

According to him, the menace has almost engulfed all sectors, adding, “including all functionality of the society. So, it is a really sad situation”

He, however, commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other relevant agencies for their efforts in curtailing the menace of drug abuse in the country.

On her part, Mrs Amina Bukola, the women leader of the Nasrul-Lahi-il Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), described the theme of the lecture as very topical and timely.

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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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