The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has attributed the consumption of illicit drugs by herdsmen as a reason nomads invade farms and destroy crops.
Armed herdsmen are reportedly responsible for 3,094 deaths in Nigeria since 2018.
Col. Muhammed Abdallah (rtd), NDLEA Chairman said at the agency’s sensitization campaign in Abaji Area Council of the FCT on Tuesday that ignorance on the part of the herdsmen led to the consumption of drugs.
He said, “Our decision to embrace you as a target group is for the simple fact that you constitute a larger percentage of the population, coupled with the fact that the food security of the nation rests squarely on the shoulder of farmers. We need to create a critical mass from the farmers and hunters by increasing their stake in the Drug-Free Nigeria Project.
“It is in furtherance of the Agency’s all-inclusive and shared responsibility approach to curbing the drug menace.
“We in drug control are concerned about the high rate of drug abuse among farmers, hunters and herdsmen, a development that has often diminished their productivity and has negatively affected their health and life span. Study has revealed that ignorance of the grim implications of drug abuse has led farmers and hunters into believing that drugs can energize them to withstand the stress of their work whereas reverse is the case.
“The implication of the unfortunate involvement of farmers, hunters and herders in drug abuse is enormous. Some researchers have attributed the persistent clash between farmers and herders to drug abuse.
"For instance, under the influence of drugs herders lose control of their stock which often invade farms to destroy crops. The resultant effect is the bloody feud between the parties. Cattle equally become very aggressive when given certain drugs to make them strong to cover distances and in the process they invade farms."