Former CJ, CNG express dismay over drug abuse in north

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A former Chief Justice of the Federal Capital Territory, Ishaq Usman Bello, has frowned at the prevalence of drug and substance abuse in northern Nigeria.

Justice Bello, who was the grand patron at the graduation ceremony of medical students of Community Auxiliary School and Training Centre, Zaria, noted with dismay that the situation is so bad that everyone must become a stakeholder and a committed actor in the struggle to free the region and the country of the hazardous and debilitating problem.

He appealed, “All of us, young and old, men and women, leaders and the led, politicians and civil servants, businessmen and women, teachers and students, and people from all walks of life must get involved in this struggle to eradicate this singular menace from our midst in order to ensure sanity in the society.”

He added that everybody in Northern Nigeria and indeed the Nigerian state is a stakeholder in addressing and fighting the existential problem, stressing that the authorities should be the primary responders to this challenge, and resolute courses of action must be developed in every local government and state to deal with this menace.

He opined that the strategies should consist of enlightenment, education, interdiction, arrest, confiscation, arraignment, rehabilitation, development of alternative and more positive lifestyles, provision of recreational facilities and development of activities for the youth, and a variety of other proactive measures to stem the tide and reverse the inordinate impact of the problem on society.

On its part, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) said that the increase in drug addiction and substance abuse in the North recently been driven by outside forces and players particularly southern traders and “pharmacists”, is a matter that requires closer scrutiny.

The CNG spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, alleged that all over the north, traders are the main sources of the substances and drugs that are being brought into the region and abused by the Northern youths, adding that the proliferation of the trade provides proof of its profitability to these people.

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He further noted, “Allegations are made for instance about the linkages between the arms trade and drug trade in the North, both of which are intended to cause the disintegration of the region and bringing about its weakening from within with several implications for the region.”

He explained that future leaders and citizens are incapacitated and disoriented by drugs and reduced to a state of hopelessness and stupor thereby rendering them completely useless in developing the region.

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