Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Kano State, closely followed by Kaduna, Katsina, Borno and more recently, Niger State are among states in the North with the highest cases of constant drug abuse in the country, it has been revealed.
Disclosing this in an interview with THISDAY on Saturday, former Director General, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Otunba Olarewaju Ipinmisho, said the upsurge in substance abuse in Kano and Kaduna States particularly, was frightening and if not quickly tackled, may get out of control.
According to him, “If you take an estimate of 10 boys particularly in Kano, seven will be on drugs. How then do we ascertain peace in such a place? That is why the governor will labour and see no result because the average teenager there is on drugs.
“This case is very frightening because, the boy taking drugs at home is as dangerous as the armed robber in the night. That is a murderer in waiting. And anyone who attempts to stop him should be ready to die because he can kill to get his way.”
He explained that the problem in these areas could easily spread to other parts of the North. For him, the case of Kaduna, which is close to Abuja is worrisome.
“Abuja is not an exemption because places like Wuse ll, especially Banex Junction is a spot FCT Police Command should do something about,” Ipinmisho said.
Continuing, he said; “In Nigeria, it is very, very frightening. Go to political rallies today and see what drugs are doing to the youth of this country. Particularly in the North, they have a lot to worry about when it comes to drugs.
“You will see young boys and girls openly inhaling and sniffing substances like fuel, and over-abusing drugs meant for other purposes, like tramadol and codeine, and smoking marijuana in the streets without care or fear of being arrested.”
He also advised parents who send their children to schools abroad to keep close tabs on them lest they’re lured into drug use due to peer pressure.
The former NDLEA DG frowned at what he described as government’s total disregard for human capacity development which he said has been overshadowed by physical development.
“Actually, they see construction of roads and erecting new structures and building bridges as more important. Though, they ought to do this but more emphasis should be put on human development because structures mean nothing without the human element.
“Their concern is that, when election comes, they use this guys and of course, you can’t use normal human beings to do the kind of job they want. But they forget that they won’t be in government forever.
“I think the modern leaders in the North should gather under one roof and trash out this issues; they should prioritise human development.”