The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Sokoto State Command, has solicited for public engagement to end the ugly trend of drug abuse and illicit trafficking in the state.
Mr Yakubu Kibo, the NDLEA Commander in Sokoto State, made the plea at a news conference on the occasion of the 2020 World Drug-free Day in Sokoto on Friday.
Kibo said that the essence of the day was to appraise the activities of stakeholders in drug control, raise awareness among members of the public and to recommend further necessary action to create a drug free society.
“This year’s celebration is unique in view of the prevailing situation worldwide brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic based on which the agency embarked on public enlightenment programmes.
“However, the effect of drugs in our communities and society at large is devastating, sadly the rate of admission of drug users across the country is also gradually increasing.
“While several of our young ones are engaged in various social crimes such as insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, cultism, political thuggery among others.
“Moreover, today our much treasured traditional values are fast eroding because of the influence of drugs on youth and maintaining the safety of our youth as leaders of tomorrow is becoming increasingly difficult.
“In the light of the aforementioned, synergy of effort is the most effective strategy in the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, and the need for cooperation both locally and internationally cannot be over emphasised,” he said.
He said that the command had recorded tremendous success in the area of arrest and seizure of hard drugs which included Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Skunk, Tramadol tablets and Codeine syrup.
“From January to June 2020 in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, we arrested 60 suspects with a total seizure of 186.028 kg of assorted hard drugs.
“However, after thorough investigation, suspects found to be users were counseled and others were charged to court.
” Few of them are presently in our facility undergoing rehabilitation,” the commander said.
He decried the involvement of shop owners in the state in the business of illicit drugs, whom, he said, were pretending to be selling provisions.
He also chided motorcycle riders who engaged in door-to-door distribution of hard drugs which particularly influenced more married women into drugs.
“To this end, I call on the general public to be vigilant and report people who engage in this ugly trade to save individuals, families and the society at large from the fall-outs of drug abuse and illicit trafficking,” Kibo said.
He thanked the NDLEA Chairman, retired Col. Muhammad Abdallah, land Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, for their support to the command, saying such had enabled the agency to record the achievements.