Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano
A former Chief Executive officer of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, has urged government at all levels to take stiffer penalties against Bandits, Boko Haram and IPOB members, who operated under the influence of drugs to unleash terror on innocent citizens.
Yusuf made the call while delivering a keynote address during a one-day symposium on drug abuse and moral decadence organised by Initiative for Community Action Against Drug Abuse.
He equally called on the government against sparing defaulters whether settlers or indigenes as they should be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“Bandits, IPOB, Boko Haram, phone snatchers among others perpetrated the crimes under the influence of drugs, so, there is need for urgent action against the menace of drug abuse as it is ravaging our the society.
“Sheikh Gumi and I went into the deep forest to meet with the bandits in states across the north, we saw the bandits were mainly kids between the ages of 10-13 years carrying big guns, smoking marijuana and pushing Pentax.
“The bandits, IPOB, Boko Haram, phone snatchers among others perpetrated the crimes under the influence of drugs. Sexual offences are recorded and marriages are breaking down because of drugs,” he said.
According to him, all hands must be on deck, because “My message is nobody will solve the problem for us. The problem is ours. We have to stand up and solve the problem ourselves. Pentax, Boska, Sudrex, codeine, tramadol are not manufactured here, we know where they were brought from. We must mitigate (cut off) the supply chain.
“And anybody in any community, whether a settler or an indigene that is found selling any of these drugs should face the full wrath of the law. We must be serious about this; it is destroying our society and our children.
“I call on our community leaders, traditional rulers and others to all get involved. The parents too must keep their eye on their wards on the kind of peer groups they keep,” Prof. Yusuf said.
Similarly, former President and Council Member of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Ahmed Yakasai, said it was battling with fake and hard drugs in four markets namely, Sabon Gari, Ariaria, Onitsha and Idumata markets.
Yakasai, expressed concern on how some elements resisted a plan by the Kano State Government to relocate major drug dealers to the Central Wholesale Center (CWC), which would checkmate drug abuse in the state.