On Wednesday 11 May 2016, DREP Centre held a roundtable discussion with professional and key stakeholders on the impact of drug abuse on peace and security in Jos and environs. The roundtable was geared towards proposing a bill against the production, sale and consumption of illicit drugs and drinks in the Plateau House of Assembly.
This roundtable was necessitated by the concerns raised by religious and community leaders who meet quarterly at DREP Centre on the menace of illicit drinks and drugs on our youths and communities at large. This concern is borne out of the fact that most of those affected are our youths who should be the hope of the future of our great nation and also whose physical strength and energy, like fire, can be productive as well as destructive.
On the area of production of illicit drinks and drugs, the roundtable sought to identify producers of these illicit drinks and drugs, map out areas and locations of production, suggest means of controlling production and also find out profitable alternatives for producers and those engaged in the illicit trade.
looking at the sale of illicit drinks and drugs, discussants sought to identify supply chain, suggest a mechanism that will help identify retail outlets and also suggest penalties for sellers and distributors. As for the consumption of these drinks and drugs, the roundtable suggested mechanisms that can be developed to curb consumption, institutional frameworks to mitigate consumption, identify areas of collaboration between government/stakeholders in the rehabilitation of addicts as well as the reintegrations and reengagement of former addicts.
Outcome of the meeting is as follows:
Arising from a roundtable discussion with experts, from Health, academia, security and reformative operatives, community and youth leaders and other professional stakeholders, chaired by His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, with the Theme: Impact of drug abuse and other related substances on peace and security in Plateau State”, the Discussants agreed that production, sales and consumption of drugs and other abusive substance by young and older citizens on the Plateau is largely responsible for the crimes, violence, conflict and other security challenges experienced in the State. Consequently it made the following resolutions and recommendations: That,
1. Producers of drugs and other abusive substances should be empowered with alternative trade and skills;
2. Emergency and urgent steps toward educating, enlightening and creating awareness on the dangers of drugs by families, communities, schools and the media be embarked on;
3. Equipment be adequately provided without delay to regulatory agencies to address the cancerous effect of drug abuse on the Plateau;
4. Regulations and laws for control of production, sales and distribution of alcohol and other abusive substances be enacted;
5. Rehabilitation toward behavioral and attitudinal change be promoted
6. Vocational trainings, farming and other economic empowerment incentives are to be hence forth provided by communities and governments.
1. The “I don’t care and keeping silent attitude” by families and communities be replaced with disclosure;
2. Parents and Teachers at primary, secondary and tertiary levels should take their responsibilities more seriously by engaging and not allowing young people to idle;
3. Movies and other entertainment industries should be sanctioned for promoting and glamourizing drugs;
4. Government should support and enhance the capacity of existing rehabilitation centers (mostly owned by Faith Base and NGO groups);
5. Vocational trainings and skills be included in rehabilitation centres;
6. Destruction of properties of sponsors of abusive drugs, confiscation, fine, and imprisonment be visited on the chain of perpetrators;
7. Whistle blowing and hotline mechanism be established by communities and government
8. Parents of under aged offenders are to be penalised.
Discussants at the round table agreed that sponsoring and establishing a law will drastically
reduce and address the monstrous and frightening problem abuse of drugs and other substances
pose to peace and security in Plateau State.
- AN ADDRESS BY MOST REV. IGNATIUS A. KAIGAMA, ARCHBISHOP OF JOS (CHAIRMAN), AT A ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION WITH PROFESSIONALS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS ON THE IMPACT OF DRUG ABUSE ON PEACE AND SECURITY, HELD AT THE DIALOGUE, RECONCILIATION AND PEACE (DREP) CENTRE LOCATED IN KWANG, GOLD & BASE, RAYFIELD, JOS SOUTH LGA, ON WEDNESDAY 11TH MAY 2016
I am delighted to have you here today and to welcome you all to this round table discussion. I thank you for responding to this invitation as this is an indication of our collective desire to build a peaceful and healthy society by ridding our society of drugs and alcoholic abuse and also regain the dented image of our dear State and Jos city in particular.
I believe it is within our might with the help of God to initiate this process which will lead and culminate in the proposal of a bill against the production, sale and consumption of illicit drugs and drinks in the Plateau State House of Assembly.
This round table discussion will revolve around these three thematic areas.
PRODUCTION OF ILLICIT DRINKS AND DRUGS
Here, our discussion will seek to
1. Identify the producers of these illicit drinks and drugs.
2. Map out the areas and locations of production.
3. Suggest means by which production can be controlled.
4. Find out profitable alternatives for producers and those who engage in that illicit trade.
SALE OF ILLICIT DRINKS AND DRUGS
The goal of discussants here is to
1. Identify the supply chain.
2. Suggest a mechanism that will help to identify retail outlets.
3. Suggest what government should do to sellers and distributors (gang leaders)in the form of Penalty).
The goals we seek from discussion on this thematic area are
1. Suggest a punitive mechanism that can be developed to stop consumption.
2. Suggest an institutional framework to mitigate consumption.
3. Identify areas of collaboration between government/stakeholders in the rehabilitation of addicts.
4. Reintegration and reengagement of former addicts.
Looking at the menace of drug abuse and the negative consequences it has on our collective peace and security as well as the impact on the health of our teaming youths, this meeting and discussion today will afford us the opportunity to reflect on the vulnerability of our youth and their involvement in crises, especially when under the influence of drugs and other intoxicants. We have all come here with the desire and the determination of rebuilding our communities and State at large by tackling this social ill of drug abuse.
Permit me to inform you that we are not alone in this struggle. Key religious and community leaders have been meeting here in DREP to discuss emerging issues that threaten our collective peace and security, and work out ways of collectively addressing these issues. One of these issues is the rampant case of drug abuse among youths in different communities within and around Jos and how it has contributed in the escalation of violence in many communities.
This therefore makes it incumbent on us to work together in preventing the spread of this social ill among youths, cutting across religious and ethnic affiliations. It calls on us all to be interested in this problem regardless of where it is prevalent and reflect on how this scourge can be curbed.
This State is full of opportunities and those of us who are leaders of thought are duty-bound of making sure that our wealth, status, knowledge and influence are used to ensure that our youths become responsible and productive in their communities and also realize there full human potential. In order to achieve this and do something wonderful for humanity, we need to create a safe and conducive environment for our youths devoid of drugs abuse.
We hope that at the end of this meeting, we will be advocating for a legal and institutional framework in the form of a bill that will address the production, sale and consumption of illicit drugs, which has contributed in worsening the security situation in our beloved Plateau State as well as posing health challenges to our youths.
I pray that we will go from here feeling fulfilled and confident that our dear State will be free from the scourges of drug and alcoholic abuse, which has afflicted almost all communities.
I thank you again for your presence here and for your commitment to the cause of peace. God bless us all.
2. WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE DIRECTOR OF DREP CENTRE, REV. FR. BLAISE AGWOM, AT THE ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION ON THE PRODUCTION SALE AND CONSUMPTION OF ILLICIT DRINKS AND DRUGS AT DREP CENTRE 12th MAY! 2016.
Your Grace, the Catholic Archbishop of Jos and Chairman of this very important round table discussion,
Our respected Community Leaders,
My brothers and sisters,
It is a great privilege for me to welcome you to the Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre this morning for this round table discussion on the theme: “The production, sale and consumption of illicit drinks and drugs in Jos metropolis and its surroundings.
This round table discussion was necessitated by the concern expressed by our respected religious and community leaders who meet for dialogue sessions here quarterly on the menace of illicit drinks and drugs on our youths and communities. You can all notice the presence of some of these elders such as the Archbishop of Jos and some of our community leaders. This concern has always been expressed by our elders every single time they meet here for their meeting. This concern is borne out of the fact that most of those affected are our youths who should be the hope of the future of our great nation and also whose physical strength and energy, like fire, can both be at the same time productive and destructive.
This round table therefore, represents our individual and collective effort at rescuing our youths from the menace of drug abuse, the consumption of illicit drinks and their concomitant effects such as violence, sickness, crime, cultism etc.This is the beginning of a journey that we are convinced will lead to, and culminate in the proposal of a bill to the Plateau State House of Assembly which will control the production, sale and consumption of illicit drinks and drugs in our communities. We strongly believe that with the careful selection of participants who are mostly experts, professionals and people who have rich and lengthy experience in drug related issues and victims, this discussion will at the end of the day produce an excellent framework that will lead to the successful drafting of a the said bill.
So on behalf of the advisory board, management and staff of DREP, I humbly welcome you all and wish you a fruitful and successful deliberation.
Thank you and may
God bless you all.