Governor Inuwa Declares Open North East SSG’s Meeting in Gombe
Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has challenged community leaders, religious bodies and voluntary organisations, to as a matter of urgency, embark on drug abuse enlightenment, treatment and prevention campaigns in order to stop the ugly trend.
He noted that the prevalence of drug abuse in Nigeria and its negative impact on public health and safety underscored the need for all hands to be on deck in order to curtail the challenge.
The Governor spoke during the opening of the meeting of Secretaries of the State Governments of the North East Sub-region held at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Gombe.
He however said his administration is specifically taking the issues of drug abuse critically as the State Government, through the Special Adviser on Drugs and Narcotics, in collaboration with other stakeholders, especially the NDLEA is intensifying efforts at tackling the problems to stem the slipping slope that many youths who dabble into drugs are heading to.
He said the abuse of drugs propels the development of crime and criminality within the sub region, which compelled the forum to take decision in order to reduce and eventually put a stop to the unfortunate development.
He therefore commended the NEGF for the foresight and commitment to handle any detrimental challenge to the overall improvement in the living conditions of our people.
“As you have all converged here, I urge you to join hands with the relevant agencies and explore the wealth of experiences you all have in order to combat this ugly trend that prevails within the sub region”.
“There is no better time than now for all relevant stakeholders to rise and join the crusade to make our region and Nigeria a better and safer place of living, especially for the youths, who are the leaders of tomorrow”.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya explained that it is a known fact that the North East sub region has passed through what can best be described as horrific and traumatic experiences as a result of the Boko Haram Insurgency that almost paralyzed its socio economic activities.
“We must do everything humanly possible to curb the influx of narcotics and illicit drugs into the Sub-region as this will help in the fight against insurgency. It is a known fact that drug menaces and abuses support terrorism and other nefarious activities”.
“Let me also reiterate that Government is fully aware of the contributions of our Traditional, Community and Religious Leaders in all security matters. I call on you not to relent on your oars by drawing the attention of Security Agencies on any breach of peace within your domains and areas of jurisdiction”.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya expressed the hope that the Secretaries to the State Governments and other stakeholders involved in this meeting will deliberate exhaustively on the theme of the meeting and come up with robust, viable and implementable resolutions for the benefit of our people.
The Director General of the North East Governors Forum, Sen. Muhammad Abba Aji, represented by the Director, Planning and Strategy of the group, Mohammed Yusufari observed that the synergy among the Governors of the North East is yielding meaningful results especially in a region that has suffered the monumental effect of insurgency.
He therefore called for more of such collaborations across the North East in order to rid the region of crimes and criminality.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Secretary to the Gombe State Government and chairman of the North East SSG’s forum, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi said the meeting was sequel to a directive by the North East Governors during their last session in Damaturu, where they observed the unfortunate development of the rise in drug and substance abuse.
He said the meeting was expanded to include heads of security agencies and NDLEA in the sub-region in order to brainstorm and share ideas on the best way to tackle the alarming rate of drug abuse in the society.
Ismaila Uba Misilli