Stakeholders seek review of drug laws
A NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation (NGO), Youth Rise, in partnership with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), has called on the Federal Government to review the country’s drug laws in order to ensure the rehabilitation of drug addicts, rather than just punish them.
Some stakeholders, who spoke during a one-day public dialogue organised by the NGO, noted that Nigeria’s drug laws were made as a responsible issue rather than needs.
UNODC Regional Advisor for West and Central Africa, Gunasekaran Rengaswamy, pledged that the UN supports the organisation’s quest to redefine Nigerian drug laws as this will help to shape the society better, saying that “instead of merely focusing on the punishment of offenders, the drug laws should seek to rehabilitate offenders and make them see reasons why they must avoid drugs.”
Also, the Co-ordinator of Youth Rise, Adeolu Ogunrombi, stressed that the event does not only focus on how to prevent drug abuse, but it is also targeted at how effective Nigeria’s drug laws have been and the way forward.
He said that in the course of the organisation’s research for the programme, it was discovered that some offenders, who had been convicted and sent to jail for drug offences, often come out worse, as they become hardened while in prison.