By Francis Sardauna in Katsina
As the war against drug abuse by relevant authorities in Katsina State intensifies, the state Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said it has arrested 451 suspects for trafficking in illicit drugs.
The Deputy Commander of the agency in the state, Dr. Nnanna Nworisa, disclosed this Wednesday at a stakeholders workshop on drug abuse, organised by a civil society organisation, Peace Builders Security Concepts, in collaboration with the Katsina State Government in Funtua.
“The suspects were arrested last year. They include 350 males, 101 females between the ages of 20 to 40. They were arrested in different parts of the state. More than 5,000 kilogrammes of suspected cough syrup and cannabis sativa were seized within the period,” he said.
He said that raids on black spots in the state would continue until all the drug dealers and users were apprehended, adding that the agency is determined to ensure effective security arrangements before, during and after the elections.
Nworisa explained that all identified drug routes in the state had been placed on strict surveillance, while community leaders would be used to provide information on such peddlers, with a view to arresting and prosecuting them.
Presenting a paper titled: ‘Youths Restiveness and Drug Abuse Among Katsina Youths: A Way Forward’, the Director of Peace Builders Security Concepts Ibrahim Ahmad said drug abuse among youths has led to alarming rate of kidnapping and banditry in the state.
According to him, “Drug abuse has compromised our religious and traditional value system, which has upturned our hospitality nature to abdication of responsibility due to fear and suspicion.
“It equally endangered the future of our youths and the society, thereby by making them to become more vulnerable to different crimes. So, there is need for government to empower the youths after apprenticeship training.”
He however said the organisation had already taken the crusade against drug trafficking in the state to traditional rulers and other stakeholders in Daura and Katsina senatorial zones, warning politicians to shun acts capable of promoting violence during the forthcoming polls.
Addressing the participants, the wife of the state governor, Dr. Hadiza Bello Masari, said she would empower 20 drug addicts who stopped the act with start-up capital that will make them self reliant.
She urged security agencies in the state to rekindle their efforts in order to tackle the scenario, adding that the situation if unchecked will truncate the future of the youths.