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 illicit drugs.
The Deputy Commander of the agency in the state, Dr. Nnanna Nworisa, disclosed this wednesday at the stakeholders workshop on drug abuse organised by a civil society organisation, Peace Builders Security Concepts, in collaboration with Katsina State Government in Funtua.
“The suspects were arrested last year in different part of the state. They included 350 males, 101 females between the age of 20 and 40. More than 5,000 kilogrammes of suspected cough syrup and cannabis sativa were seized within the period,” he said.
He said raids on black spots in the state would continue until all the drug dealers and users are apprehended, saying 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 the Concepts of the organisation, 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 the 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 the 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, 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, would tarnish the future of the youths.