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Drug abuse:‘Mkpuru mmiri’ destroying Nigerian youths, Reps cry out

…Urge NDLEA to declare war on alleged Mexican cartel who set up laboratories

… Call for Marshall Plan against widespread abuse of drugs

By Ezeocha Nzeh

The House of Representatives on Thursday raised the alarm over the damaging and widespread abuse of dangerous drugs by youths and families in the country.

This is as the House noted that almost all the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria were currently battling the abuse of one form or a set of dangerous drugs, with the South east zone youths been ravaged by the abusive use of Crystal Meth, popularly known as ‘Mkpuru Mmiri in Igbo land.

The House of Representatives alarm was contained in a statement titled, ‘Crystal meth: Reps call for marshall plan against widespread abuse of drugs by youths, families,’ shared on the official Facebook page of the House.

According to the statement, “In the case of the South-East, the abuse of Methamphetamine or Crystal meth by youths was cited as an example of a growing threat to the future of the country.

“Crystal meth, though an old drug, has been nicknamed ‘Mkpuru Mmiri’ in the South-East and is abused by a lot of youths.

“According to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the abuse of Crystal meth is sending young Nigerians to their early graves.”

Stating further on the damaging effect of Crystal Meth on Nigerian youths, a member from Imo State, Rep. Henry Nwawuba, moved a motion on the floor of the House, urging members to treat the issue as a matter of urgent public importance.

He noted that ‘mkpuru mmiri,’ which is highly addictive in the South east had negative effects on the lives of 75 per cent of users, making them useless to themselves and the society at large, adding that side effects of the drug included mood alteration, the exhibition of violent behaviours and even death.

“It has a powerful euphoric effect comparable to that of Cocaine.

“This drug nicknamed Mkpuru mmiri in the South East is gradually destroying our youths.

“Crystal meth is a crystal narcotic hallucinogen that is capable of destroying a person mentally.

“An estimated 75 percent of the users in our society are adversely affected and they have become a burden to their families and communities.

Hon. Nwawuba noted that drug, which has been in production since 1990 has been hijacked by Mexican drug dealers who set up laboratories in Nigeria for the production of Mkpuru Mmiri in 2016.

“There are laws in this country to control drug abuse and trafficking. Regulatory agencies, and particularly the NDLEA, should step up their control and sensitisation mechanisms”, the Imo lawmaker stated.

Contributing to the motion, the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu asked NDLEA to trace the manufacturers and others in the chain of production and distribution of the drug.

“Who are the manufacturers? Where is the factory? Where is it manufactured? Who are the traders?

“NDLEA should trace, and we should ensure rehabilitation of the victims and make sure we take meth out of the market.

“That is the quickest thing we can do; after taking meth out of the market, then we will know what to do with our citizens who are already victims,” he said.

Hon. Okechukwu, who called for the arrest and prosecution of local manufacturers and marketers of Crystal meth in Nigeria, also noted that besides Mkpuru mmiri, Nigeria had become plagued by the abuse of many hard drugs, a problem he said required concerted efforts to tackle holistically.

“We have to get the drug out of society completely. The NDLEA must rise up to the occasion.

“Aside from Crystal meth, there is Codeine, Tramadol abuse, among other harmful substances widely used in this country today.”

Also speaking, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu regretted that many youths of young ages have been addicted to the consumption of the drug.

“It does sound like a joke, but it is actually very serious and killing a lot of people.

“In the next 10 years, if we don’t stop it, we are going to have a zombie society.”

Chairman, House Committee on Army, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas, who spoke in the same direction, drew a link between drug abuse and the insecurity upsurges in Nigeria, a fact he said the NDLEA itself had since acknowledged.

Hon. Namdas observed that the war against drug abuse, trafficking or manufacturing was beyond the capacity of NDLEA alone to wage.

He added, “There has to be a synergy among all the security agencies to jointly attack the problem.

“We are talking about the youths; have we forgotten that many adults also abuse these drugs?

“The problem is bigger than just saying the youths. If adults or your parents abuse drugs in your presence, you may not see anything wrong with doing the same thing yourself.”

Among other prayers, the House called for a Marshall plan to fight drug abuse, the raiding of the local manufacturing plants by a combined team of the NDLEA and other security agencies as well as increasing the budget of the NDLEA to enable the agency to function more efficiently.

The motion was passed in a unanimous voice vote.

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