By Martins Ifijeh
The wife of the Governor of Katsina State, Hadiza Aminu Bello Masari, has called on stakeholders in the country to institute aggressive campaigns against drug abuse in the country to secure the future of Nigerian youths who face uncertainties and a bleak future due to persistent substance abuse which also imperils the much needed human capital development.
Mrs. Masari who commended the recent banning of codeine importation and local production announced by the federal government made this call in Funtua, Katsina State while addressing participants at a workshop on combating drug abuse organised by her NGO the Centre for the Advancement of Mothers and Children (CEAMOC).
She tasked regulatory authorities and security agencies to up the ante by constantly being on the alert, arresting and prosecuting culprits and mounting aggressive advocacy and. mass mobilisation campaign to rid our communities of illicit drugs and bad eggs.
Furthermore, the governor’s wife appealed to the three tiers of government, civil societies, faith-based organisations as well as development partners to close ranks in the fight against drug abuse by way of providing durable solutions through rehabilitation and appropriate legislation.
Speakers at the workshop with the theme ‘Community Sensitisation Campaign Against Drug Abuse’ which include Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, Director General Kano State Hisbah, Bashir Ruwan Godiya, Special Adviser to the Katsina State Governor on Higher Education and the State Commandant of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), Maryam Sani who was represented by Mr. Mustapha Maikudi unanimously agreed on the need for concerted efforts to combat the monster of drug abuse which spares no one in the society.
In his contribution, Sheikh Aminu Daurawa prescribed a four-step approach towards combating the menace. According to him, the steps some of which have already been adopted by the Kano State Government include Counselling; Rehabilitation; Empowerment and the incorporation of terrorism and drug abuse in the national curricular of education. On his part, Ruwan Godiya, urged politicians to desist from encouraging thuggery by the youths during electioneering campaigns and advised them to explore other avenues of engaging the youths in productive endeavours since drug abuse does not recognise ethnic, religious, regional or geographical boundaries. In her presentation, read by Maikudi, the State Commandant of NDLEA disclosed that the Agency faces herculean task in prosecuting offenders as there is only one Federal High Court in the state which could not expeditiously handle scores of cases brought before it just as he laments the Agency’s inability to continue to hold suspects in their cells with little facilities and poorly equipped rehabilitation centres. The Commandant also decries the absence of narcotics testing laboratories where they always have to refer exhibits to Lagos for testing which causes unnecessary delays.
Earlier in his remarks, the State Chief Judge, Justice Musa Danladi who doubles as the Chairman Board of Trustees of CEAMOC observed with dismay that most of the criminal cases before various courts in the state are drug-induced. Justice Danladi called on stakeholders particularly parents, traditional rulers, religious leaders and youths leaders to be eternally vigilant as a stitch in time saves lives.