Violent crimes: Stakeholders seek clampdown on drug circulation

Gombe State map
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Participants at the maiden Gombe State peace and security summit have urged the government to check sources of drugs to mitigate drug prevalence.

The participants comprising resource persons, representatives of various organisations, community leaders, and strategic stakeholders, stated this in a 22-point communique issued at the end of its summit.

Our correspondent reports that the Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba, shortly after delivering a keynote address on Mitigating Contemporary Security Challenges for Sustainable Development in Gombe State, commissioned a joint taskforce operational vehicles alongside Governor Muhammadu Yahaya ahead of Operation Hattara takeoff to restore sanity in Gombe.

Delivering the summit’s resolutions, retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zubairu Mua’zu, explained that there was a nexus between violent crimes and drugs.

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He lauded state government and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency interventions in curbing the excess of drugs in the state, noting that it was a national challenge.

The communique partly read, “The Summit resolves that the various initiatives of the Gombe State Government such as the establishment of Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre and the creation of GOSTEC are timely and commendable steps that could help further strengthen the current security arrangements in the state.

“In particular, the summit applauds the government’s zero-tolerance approach to the issue of political thuggery and other social vices (perpetrated by the dreaded Yan Kalare thugs), which culminated in the launching on Tuesday of the security initiative code-named ‘Operation Hattara’.

“The summit wishes to call on the operation to take advantage of the findings and resolutions of the summit, especially in compliance with law and order.

“Drugs and substance abuse, particularly among the youth, is a major driver of violent crimes in the country. While commending the renewed efforts of NDLEA and the Gombe State Government to combat this problem, the Summit believes that it is vital to do more in terms of cutting the sources of drugs supply, increase in funding drugs prevention and control initiatives/operations.”

The group urged the government to establish recreational centres within urban areas, stressing that it would reduce the involvement of youths in criminal tendencies.

“The Gombe State Government is encouraged to organise a town hall meeting to discuss the dual issue of drugs and political thuggery so as to find common ground among stakeholders on what needs to be done to prevent violence ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“The Summit noted that lack of sports and recreational facilities contributes to drugs and substance abuse, youth restiveness, and gang violence. Providing such facilities, especially in urban centres will help engage the youth and enable them to harness their God-given potentials,” Mua’zu added.

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