In the north-eastern Nigerian state of Gombe, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has reported the arrest of over 214 individuals suspected of engaging in drug abuse and various drug-related offenses.
NDLEA Deputy Commander on Narcotics in Gombe State, Mr Bello Mumini made this known, Monday, while speaking at a programme organised by the Association of Professional Counsellors in Nigeria, APROCON.
The NDLEA Deputy commander in his paper, titled “Drug Abuse Situation in Gombe State,” said the 214 suspects whose identities he did not disclose, included 200 males and 14 females.
The deputy commander also said that the suspects were arrested alongside 93.95Kg of cannabis sativa, 257.5Kg of psychotropic substance and methamphetamine within the last seven months.
While lamenting the spate of drug abuse and other drug-related offences in the state and the level at which females have been grossly initiated into the act that seemed like it was only for men, Mr Mumini said it was only right that the suspects face the law for breaking it’s provisions.
As every labourer deserves his wage and every defaulter deserves a punishment, the NDLEA official said 137 of the 214 suspects arrested have been charged to court while 30 convictions had been secured.
He said the fate of the other suspects remain underway to be decided but that the law would definitely take its course to set an example for intending victims and those already indulging in the act.
Mr Bumini added that the pattern and trend with which drugs are now abused cuts across gender, age and social status in the state.
He discouraged the practice while admonishing young folks to engage in more beneficial practices that would rather being them growth and extensively, foaster development in the state.
Speaking on the condition of a 24-bed capacity NDLEA rehabilitation centre in the state, Bumini said it was however unfortunate that despite the provision of such facility in the state, it was not being utilized appropriately yet, issues of drug abuse and other related offences are on the high side.
He appealed to authorities and individuals to help contribute to the effective use of the facility by supporting and sponsoring clients who are in need of rehabilitation services especially in Gombe State.
In his words, “The NDLEA rehabilitation centre is functional but not being utilised as it ought to.
“We have a 24-bed capacity but the highest we get is seven clients undergoing rehabilitation.
“This is why I am appealing to the state government and other partners to support the centre and sponsor clients towards their effective rehabilitation.”
Mumini commended APROCON for embarking on a campaign against drug abuse while counselling youths on the danger of using drugs and substances.
On her part, the chairperson of APROCON, Dr Habiba Isah, said drug abuse had become one menace that should worry all stakeholders given its negative effects on the youth.
She said her association had launched a campaign against the menace and would be going to some selected tertiary institutions in the state to engage youths and discourage them from using illicit drugs.
Isah, who is also the Head of the Department, Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, Gombe State University, urged parents to be vigilant and protect their children against drugs.No tags for this post.