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Afrilaw Partners Media In Promoting Effective, Sustainable Drug Policy Reform In Nigeria




(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A Non – governmental  Organization (NGO), with bias in the promotion of law, justice and development in Nigeria, operating under the platform of African Law Foundation (Afrilaw), has urged the nation’s media to join hands with  relevant Stakeholders in advancing effective and sustainable drug policy reform in the country.

Founder/Chief Executive Officer CEO of the Enugu based organization, (Barr) Okereke Chinwike, stated this yesterday in Enugu, during the Nigeria drug policy Media forum organized by Afrilaw in partnership with West Africa Drug Network (WADPN), Nigeria chapter, with support from International Drug policy consortium (IDCP) United Kingdom UK.

He explained that “today’s event is to educate and sensitize government and private media personnel and organizations on key global and Nigeria drug policy issues, and the role of media in promoting effective and sustainable drug policy reforms in the country.

Okereke, stated that the Media forum was part of the 2021 ‘Support, Don’t punish’ Campaign global  day of Action in Nigeria, promoted globally by international Drug policy Consortium IDPC UK, and it’s members and partners.

According to the  Afrilaw boss, who is also National Focal point/Coordinator of WADPN, his organization is member of of IDCP and WADPN in Nigeria, adding that IDPC is a global network of 192 Non- governmental organizations NGOs, that focuses on issues related to drug production, trafficking, and use.

He said IDCP promotes objective and open debate on the effectiveness, direction and content of drug policies at the national and international levels, stressing that it equally supports evidence – based policies that are effective at the reducing drug – related harm.

Barr. Okereke, disclosed that WADPN, which has its headquarters in Ghana, is a Coalition of more than 600 Civil Society Organizations CSOs from the 16 West African nation’s that supports drug policy reform in the sub region “by building the capacity of local CSOs to address the impact of drug markets on democratic governance,  human security, human rights, and public health.

“The ‘Support, Don’t Punish’ is a global grass roots centered initiative in support of harm reduction and drug policies that prioritize public health and human rights.

He stressed that “the campaign seeks to put harm reduction on the political, agenda by  Strengthening the Mobilization capacity of Communities targeted by the ‘war on drugs’ and their allies, opening dialogue with policy makers and raising awareness among the media and the public.



Okereke, noted that the use of  prohibitionist and punitive approach in addressing the Nigeria drug policy control issue had remained counter- productive over the years, hence the need to adopt international  best practices.

He maintained that violation of human rights in the course of drug control was no longer fashionable, calling on the relevant agencies in Nigeria to do away with drug laws that are inhuman in nature.

“The Support. Don’t Punish campaign approach aligns with the following key massages such as the drug control system is broken and in need of reform. People who use drugs should no longer be criminalized.

“People involved in the drug trade should not face harsh or  disproportionate  punishments, where retained, the death penalty should never be imposed for drug offences. Drug policy should focus on health, well- being and harm reduction .

“Therefore, as the Federal government of Nigeria, and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, marks the 2021 world   Drug Day, we are urging them to as a matter of urgent public interest to ensure that public health and human rights is placed at the Centre of all drug law enforcement and drug control responses in the country.

“They should treat drug use as a public health issue with socio-Economic causes   and consequences, rather than a criminal justice matter.

Our Correspondent who attended the Media forum, reports that the event equally featured a paper,  entitled: “Understanding Drug Dependency) Addiction” presented by Dr. Onu Justus Uchenna, a lecturer at the Department of Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, and  Honarary Consultant, Federal Neuropsychiatric hospital, Enugu.

The AFRILAW,  Founder,  also delivered a paper Titled: “Nigeria Drug Law and policy Agenda”: Need for reform.


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