ISSUP Lagos Chapter Visits NDLEA Lagos Command, Seeks Collaboration to Fight Substance Abuse
The International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals (ISSUP), Lagos Chapter, led by the Zonal Coordinator, Dr. (Mrs.) Olajumoke Koyejo, on Thursday paid courtesy visits to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Lagos Command. National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP) can reports.
The team was received by the NDLEA Lagos State Commander, ACGN, Alhaji Umar Isah Adoro. Also in attendance were the NDLEA Zonal Commander, Zone ‘H’ (Lagos & Ogun), Mr. Segun Oke, and other top officers of NDLEA, including the Deputy State Commander, Lagos State Command, DCN Makinde A. Kazeem.
Others included the Deputy Commander DDRU, DCN Mrs. Chinyerem Ezhiaghighala, the Deputy Commander OPS & Training, Mr. Adetula Oluwarotimi, the Assistant Commander Intelligence, and Mr. Innocent Aduira.
Dr. Olajumoke said the visit was to build temples of synergy between the two agencies since they are working towards the same goal.
According to her, the main purpose is to secure collaboration and work with NDLEA to achieve the goals that the government has set in the areas of substance use, prevention, treatment, advocacy, and even research.
“So, we have come to see how to collaborate with the organisation and look at ways it could achieve the goal of reforming the organisation. We totally believe that our synergy would achieve much more than if we worked individually and made Nigeria a better tomorrow. Dr. Olajumoke said.
The Zonal Commander, Zone ‘H’, Mr. Segun Oke, who coincidentally attended the meeting on a special mission, while welcoming members of ISSUP, expressed gratitude about the fellowship with the agency, adding that the NDLEA has two phases: “the frowny face and the smiley face.”
The Lagos State NDLEA Commander, Alhaji Umar Isah Adoro, appreciated the Lagos Chapter for deeming it fit to recognise him and the NDLEA for the visit.
On the operational activities of the agency in the last few months since resumption, Commander Isah said that substance abuse in Lagos State is higher compared to other states.
To this end, he disclosed that in the month of July 2023, no fewer than 40 tonnes of various assorted drugs were intercepted from dealers, noting that over 800 major dealers of illicit drugs have been arrested and are undergoing prosecution.
“We had over 45 convictions in July and only seven convictions in August due to the recess by the court.
The commander further disclosed that there was a growing trend of consumption and exposure to drugs, especially in some primary, secondary, and tertiary schools in Lagos State, and called on both agencies to cohere and fight the menace.
While addressing some of the concerns raised by ISSUP members on the primary goals and strategies in dealing with substance use issues by the NDLEA in Lagos State, the Commander said the agency (NDLEA) has already put in place an office that takes care of the demand reduction as a result of substance use and its abuse.
According to him, “the units have professionals that go to churches, media houses, schools (primary, secondary, and universities), social gatherings, motor parks, and places where there is human existence. And in addition, the agency honours any form of invitation from any organisation that needs the agency to talk to their community on the issue of substance use and abuse and its impact on the economy and society.
“The unit is armed with enough professionals capable of handling clinical psychology on psychiatric people that have not gotten to the level that is needed to be admitted to in any psychiatric hospital.”
On the use of new media in enhancing their campaign against illicit drugs, the commander disclosed that the use of social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, and Whatsapp has helped the agency a great deal.
Responding to a concern raised by the ISSUP Zonal Coordinator about the collaboration of NDLEA with sectors like healthcare, other law enforcement agencies, and the education ministry to create a comprehensive approach.
The commander said the NDLEA has a formidable synergy with all the sectors, especially with all the brother security agencies. He referred to the areas of supply reductions, saying other brother agencies like the Army, Civil Defense, Police, and the SSS have been supportive with additional manpower, logistics vehicles, and even fueling their vehicles to come together and tackle the troubled areas. We also have good relationships with government bodies, and this has been helping our agency. He said.
In the area of assistance in collaboration, DCN Oluwarotimi Adetula, Deputy Commander Operations & Training, called on the ISSUP Lagos Chapter to assist the NDLEA by visiting their cell to counsel suspects with a view to turning a new leaf instead of going back to drug use when they are released.
In a chat with the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), Dr. Adetolu Olatunde of ISSUP explained their mission in collaborating with NDLEA as a means of preventing people from going into taking drugs, but if started, to discontinue such persons in order not to result in psychosis.
Other members of ISSUP Lagos State present included Mrs. Titilope Ogunluyi; ISSUP Coordinator Lagos Chapter, Dr. Adetolu Olatunde; ISSUP Lagos State Treasurer, Engr. Moses Adewale; Member, Mrs. Ngozi Okotcha; Member, Mr. Udoh Emeh Efiok; and Mrs. Aduloju Adefunke as members.
ISSUP, Lagos Chapter, like the International body, are professionals from different fields of life working together for the purpose of prevention, and treatment of substance use disorders.