A former Chief Justice of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Ishaq Usman Bello, the Coalition of Northern Groups and representative of the Kaduna State government have frowned at prevalence of drug and substance abuse in Northern Nigeria.
Justice Bello, who spoke at a graduation of medical students on community auxiliary at Tukur-Tukur, Zaria, said the situation was so bad that everyone must become a stakeholder and a committed actor in the struggle to free the society of the hazardous and debilitating problem.
Responding, Aisha Ahmed Mohamed, special adviser to governor Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai and Legal adviser to KADIRS lamented the prevalence of drug abuse among women in particular in northern societies.
She called for concerted action at community level involving every significant component of the northern society in the fight to eradicate the menace and to rehabilitate the victims.
On its part, the CNG said though it is not certain if there is an agenda behind the increase in drug addiction and substance abuse in the North, the fact that the phenomenon has of recent been driven by outside forces and players particularly Southern traders and “pharmacists”, is a matter that requires closer scrutiny.
“All over the North, it is found that these traders are the main sources of the substances and drugs that are being brought into the region and abused by the Northern youth and that the proliferation of the trade provides proof of its profitability to these people.
“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.
“First, its 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.
“Second, its pool of trained personnel is drained and no future replacement can be developed thereby rendering the region wholly depending on outsiders for every type of services and expertise.
“Third, to deprive the North of future prospects of developing its own resources to become rich, viable and able to compete with the South, by destroying its manpower and rendering Northerners mere parasites in the country.
“Fourth, to create a situation where Northerners will not be able to resist the take over and occupation of their land through the degrading of the mental outlook of their young and impressionable population so that they cannot offer any resistance to such a prospect,” said the CNG Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman.
He warned that the mass movement of millions of people into the vast interior of the North and the permanent nature of this movement should therefore be given a serious thought and consideration by the Northern leadership before it becomes too late to do anything about it.