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Control of drug abuse in Niger State

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Flood challenges: Gov Sani Bello appeals for FG’s support

There has been growing concerns over the high rate of drug abuse among the youths in Niger State and authorities took note of it. Realizing that the development often spills into criminal tendencies, and in order to arrest the situation, the state government took decisive steps towards tackling it before it spirals out of control.

Drug abuse has been described as a pattern of repeated drug or alcohol use that often interferes with health, work or social relationships. Viewed succinctly, it could be described as using drugs without doctor’s prescriptions. Such unwholesome drug or alcohol consumption could lead to clinical depression, a kind mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interests in activities.

It could also lead to antisocial personality disorder, a kind of mental health disorder characterised by disregard to other people. Alcohol is also often abused, giving a pattern of drinking habit that interferes with day to day activities.

Drug abuse could also mean substance use disorder. This is a medical condition in which the use of one or more substance leads to clinically significant impairment or disorders. The danger of drug abuse has destroyed the future of many promising young boys and girls in Nigeria, more significantly, in Niger State.

The economic downturn and the need to always get high to defeat the concomitant challenge have accentuated the drug abuse challenge in the society. Many young school leavers and tertiary, education graduates feel frustrated because of inability to secure gainful jobs. This propels some of them to indulge in drugs as escape routes, thereby compounding the problems.

Some of them with average financial means engage in hard drugs like cocaine, heroine, marijuana, cannabis, and their cohorts, expending thousands of money, in the name of escaping the trauma of unemployment. Those on the wrong side of the economic ladder go for cough syrups, or even gutter muds that they sniff to get the desired impact.

During political campaigns and events, drug abuse often takes the center state. Innocent boys and girls are fed massively on drugs to unleash mayhem on the people, especially, the political opponents. Political thuggery, leading to killings and maiming of innocent souls after heavy dose of drug intake are some of the aftermath of drug abuse.

Some of these anti-social products, unfortunately, are picked from the shelves of the medicine sellers. And to stem the debilitating outcomes of unprescribed drug use, the state government is taking the bull by the horns to stem the tide of making the teeming number of youths in the state who are increasingly becoming useless, not only to themselves, but also to the larger society.

Miffed by the constant and incessant clashes among the Limawa, Makera, Angwan Daji, and some youth groups in the state capital, some resulting to deaths or severe injuries, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has decided to tackle the menace from the roots. This led to his decision to close drug stores or shops that peddle the illicit drugs in the state. He even gave a succinct advice to the sellers to deny the consumers of such drugs who fail to produce doctors’ prescriptions.

Governor Sani Bello showed his stern level of seriousness most recently at a parley with the state traditional council, where he warned drug peddlers who engage in the nefarious actions of selling unwholesome drugs to either stop the practice or go out of business by clampdown on their operations, and face the risk of arrest and prosecution.

Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello ordered immediate closure of any shop found engaging in sales of hard drugs and the prosecution of promoters of such pharmacy. He gave the directive when he played host to members of Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers led by Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar in his office at the Government House in Minna, the state capital.

The governor who expressed concern over the effect of hard drugs intake on socio-cultural fabric of the state said the administration would deploy new strategy to address the menace. He stressed that the fight against drug abuse will require the support of all stakeholders and relevant bodies to work on blocking all supply channels.

“We will consolidate more on addressing security challenges in the state. We will give drug abuse priority because we noticed that most of the criminal activities are carried out under the influence of drugs.

“Having identified hard drugs as a major factor of criminal activities, we have to come up with strategy of blocking all supply channels and also follow up to ensure that black marketing does not flourish as a result of this”, he said.

The governor assured the royal fathers that his administration would continue to work with traditional institution in the state, just as he commended the traditional rulers for the support they have given to his administration within the past four years.

“Your counsel, prayers and intervention have contributed strongly to whatever success story we have to tell. You have displayed extreme patriotism by using your respective positions to ensure harmony, togetherness and most importantly, you have played a big role in bringing the people together to achieve our common goal as people of Niger State.”, he said.

According to the governor, “we will continue to uphold the prestige and integrity of our traditional rulers. We cannot afford to relegate our royal father’s position in the society because that will affect us in every aspect.”

Earlier, the chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers and Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar who spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers in the state assured the governor of their support throughout his tenure and promised to continue to work for the peaceful coexistence of the people of the state, even if efforts are required to tackle the scourge of hard drugs consumptions headlong.

The Estu Nupe expressed joy over his victory at the gubernatorial polls and prayed for a successful tenure in office, as well as for peace, growth and development of the state and the country.

QUOTE

The governor warned drug peddlers who engage in the nefarious actions of selling unwholesome drugs to either stop the practice or go out of business by clampdown on their operations, and face the risk of arrest and prosecution

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