Buhari appoints his wife Aisha as a member of presidential advisory committee

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has appointed his wife Aisha as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse as part of his administration's war on substance abuse.


Nigeria is currently battling a drug addiction problem, especially against Tramadol and Codeine, which health officials say are now widely used by youths. Opioids such as morphine and codeine are naturally derived from opium poppy plants grown in Asia, Central America and South America and are smuggled into Nigeria, where they are inserted into syrups, which youths ingest.


To help combat the menace, President Buhari has set up this committee, naming the former military administrator of Lagos State, Brigadier Buba Marwa, as its chairman. Its activities will be augmented by the Ministerial Steering Committee, which is headed by the secretary to the government of the federation Boss Mustapha.


Inaugurating the two committees at the presidential villa in Abuja, the president called for collective action to help those enslaved by drugs build a new life. He lamented that the challenges associated with drug abuse had grown to become a major public health problem in Nigeria.


President Buhari said:  “This is a situation of emergency and we must face and address it as such. Drug and alcohol abuse are also major occupational hazards among Nigerian workers, professionals, notably drivers, which contribute to making Nigerian roads particularly dangerous.


“Today marks the beginning of another milestone in correcting the root cause of some of the ills of today’s society in order to safeguard our common existence and guarantee a brighter future for our current generation and those yet on born. The role is specifically targeted at decimating the disastrous havoc that drug abuse could cause on the very fabric of our society.”


He noted that in many schools, adolescents experience mental health issues, either temporarily or for a long period of time, while some become insane, cannot remain in schools and eventually drop out. According to the president, drugs that are commonly abused include alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, Tramadol and Codeine.