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Mete Out Stringent Punishment To Drugs Traffickers — Peter Obi Tells FG

The Senate had on May 9, suggested death penalty as the new maximum punishment for drug trafficking.

A former presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, has recommended that capital punishment be handed out to drug traffickers, as a way of stemming the tide of the menace in Nigeria.

Obi made the call in a series of tweets on X on Wednesday, as the world celebrates the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

He also advised the federal government, to invest in rehabilitating those already caught in the web of drug abuse.

He said, “Today is set aside by the global community to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. It is a day set out to strengthen actions that will rid society of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

“We must, therefore, seek to save our nation from the menace of drug abuse and illicit trafficking. More efforts must be channelled into preventing the spread of this virus.

“The government should invest in rehabilitating those already caught in the web of drug abuse and stringent punishment meted out to drug traffickers. With commitment and sincerity of action, we can achieve a drug-free nation in a New Nigeria that is possible.”

The Senate had on May 9, suggested death penalty as the new maximum punishment for drug trafficking, as against previous life imprisonment.

This is as Nigeria with over 200 million people, has shifted from a transit point to a major producer, consumer, and distributor of illegal drugs.

Opioid abuse, notably tramadol, and codeine-containing cough syrups is widespread. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control banned codeine syrup in 2018.

While cannabis is locally grown, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs are trafficked, exacerbating addiction.

The proposal, stemming from a Senate report, aims to deter traffickers with the threat of execution.

However, some lawmakers are concerned about the death penalty’s irreversible nature and potential for wrongful convictions.

The bill, previously passed by the House of Representatives without the death penalty provision, requires reconciliation between Senate and House versions before reaching President Bola Tinubu.

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