The House of Representatives has called for a total war against narcotics in Nigeria, warning that drug abuse by youths is contributing to the growing insecurity in the country.
Members of the House took turns at the plenary on Thursday to lament the increasing rate of drug abuse among the youth, with some lawmakers stating that regular medicines and food items like beverages, cookies and sweets were now being mixed with narcotics to get intoxicated.
The lawmakers called for stricter measures by the government to regulate the production, distribution, sale and consumption of pharmaceuticals.
A member, Henry Nwawuba, had moved a motion of urgent public importance to raise the alarm over the widespread use of methamphetamine in the South-East geopolitical zone.
It was titled, ‘Motion on the Urgent Need to Sensitise Nigerians to the Danger of Widespread Meth Epidemic and Effect of Crystal Meth on Nigerian Youths’.
Nwawuba made reference to the “highly addictive street form of the pharma-grade amphetamine and the ill-equipped handling or stopping of the spread.”
He said, “The House is concerned that many homes in the South-East are currently facing the dangerous effect of methamphetamine, nicknamed ‘Mkpuru-Mmiri,’ which translates to ‘seed of water’. Crystal meth is a crystal narcotic hallucinogen that is capable of destroying a person mentally.
“The House is further concerned that an estimated 75 per cent of the users in our society are adversely affected and they have become a burden to their families and communities.
“The House is concerned that as a stimulant, it has a powerful euphoric effect similar to those of cocaine; meth typically keeps users awake depriving them of sleep, making them react violently and takes a toll on the physical look of its users.”
Consequently, the House mandated the National Law Enforcement Agency to “reintegrate and strategise further on its enforcement and enlightenment capacity to cover the mode and cure for this meth addiction, which has no medical treatment at the moment.”
The House also called for mass raids on suspected factories and markets of hard drugs across the country by relevant agencies.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, stated that anything that was capable of altering the composition of a person was dangerous to society, noting that ‘mkpuri mmiri’ had the capacity to make its consumer behave abnormally.
Okechukwu urged the government to focus on meth manufacturers, factories and sellers, stressing that the best move was to get the drug out of circulation.
Another member, Lynda Ikpeazu, said while the issue of ‘mkpuri mmiri’ might sound like a joke, there was a need to deal with the issue before it would gain momentum.
She warned that if it was not addressed on time, it might have adverse effects on the youth population in the near future.