If the words of the Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig Gen Buba Marwa, is anything to go by, Kano state may well be on the way to becoming an accident waiting to happen.
The retired Army General gave the hint on Monday in Kano when he paid a scheduled visit to the state governor, Abdulahi Ganduje at government house. According to him, the state alone harbours about two million active drug addicts, one in every six person seen on the street, all of whom abuse, among others, Tramadol and Codeine.
The NDLEA boss, who was in Kano on a sensitization tour, told the governor that the addicts, whose ages fall between 15 and 64 years, represent 16 per cent prevalence
““Kano State has close to two million drug users, abusing tramadol, codeine and other cough syrups than cannabis. In Kano State, drug abuse prevalence is 16 per cent. That is, in every six persons, one is a drug addict and they are between the ages of 15 years and 64 years,” he disclosed.
The NDLEA boss pointed out that the use of illicit drugs in the state is so rampart that the agency has impounded over two million kilograms of sundry drugs roughly put at billions of Naira since he assumed office as NDLEA chairman less than 10 months ago. He added that 8000 people have been arrested so far in connection with illicit drugs out of which 1600 of them currently serving jail terms in different correctional centres across the state.
“I will like to mention here that since I assumed leadership of NDLEA in January, we have seized over two million kilogrammes of assorted drugs, estimated at billions of Naira. Eight thousand people were arrested and 1,600 are now serving jail terms in correctional service facilities, and we are still working.”
Marwa noted that drug abuse in the state has gone up to a level where everyone needs to be concerned as it is gradually destroying families and will continue to do so unless measures are taken to rein in the ugly trend as quickly as possible.
While urging the state government to take urgent steps at containing the disturbing development, he reiterated the fact that use of illicit drugs aggravate criminal activities, including banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and others too many to mention.
Among other measures, he enjoined the state government to consider enacting appropriate legislative regulations, including compulsory drug test for intending couples, all of which are relevant in curtailing the drug abuse menace.
“Drug abuse has gone to the level of destroying our families unless it is tackled with all seriousness it deserves,” Marwa pointed out.
In his reaction, the state governor pointed out that case with Kano is indeed very peculiar. The reason, he noted, may not be unconnected with the state’s huge youth population in addition to being the hub of a national and transnational commerce. According to the governor, the state is at the verge of relocating legitimate drug dealers to one market as part of measures designed to check drug abuse and trafficking.
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