The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA wants communities in the Southeast to henceforth hand over those arrested for substance abuse to the Agency for prosecution instead of subjecting them to corporal punishments.
The Commander of Narcotics NDLEA in Imo State, Mr Reuben Apeh made the call at a Town Hall Meeting on National Security Sensitization and Re-orientation against Social Vices organized by the National Orientation Agency in Owerri, Imo State.
He said though citizens’ arrest was normal, it was out of place to resort to self-help by flogging or even beating to death of illicit drug users as currently witnessed in some communities noting that such persons should be transferred to NDLEA for appropriate action.
Mr Apeh who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Dick Sunday expressed worry over the alarming rate of drug abuse in Imo state noting that the security challenges facing the country was chiefly caused by the use of hard drugs.
The Director, National Orientation Agency in Imo State, Mr Nazzy Njoku said the event was organized to interrogate some of the issues affecting national security and to sensitize youths to the need to imbibe core national values noting that feedback generated from the meeting will be transmitted to the government.
Mr Njoku urged community leaders to rise against the hawkers and consumers of methamphetamine to avert an explosion of mental sickness, especially among the youths.
A representative of a nongovernmental organization, Mrs Angela Nkwo-Akpolu attributed the worrisome record of violence against women and girls in Imo state to substance abuse and called on the state government to assent to the Violent Against Persons Prohibiting bill into law to check the crime.
She warned mothers to be more vigilant noting that there was increasing cases of incestuous rape in parts of the state.
The meeting was attended by youths, security agencies and nongovernmental organizations.
Reporting by Chinazo Ilechukwu, editing by Abdullahi Lamino