Gombe State governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, yesterday called for more synergy between the state and the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in order to rid the society of illicit drugs.
Director-general, Press Affairs, Government House
Gombe, Ismaila Uba Misilli, said Governor Yahaya stated this when he visited the chairman and chief executive of NDLEA, Gen Buba Marwa (rtd), at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, the governor observed that there is a strong correlation between the use of illicit drugs and the probability to commit crime and criminality in any given society.
He noted that one of the ingredients fuelling crime and criminality, particularly the ongoing insurgency in the North East can be attributed to the use of illicit drugs which often distort the sanity of the human psychology.
“In the last two years, I saw a lot of development with regards to these issues and being the Governor, naturally all issues tend to end up on my table and we can put a good percentage of all these negative developments in our society to issues that have to do with drugs,” Governor Yahaya stated.
He said despite having a good presence in Gombe, there is the need for the state and the NDLEA to re-strategise and collaborate more in the fight against the use of illicit drugs and their peddlers.
This, he said, was more so that the state sits at the centre of the North East and an easy access for all manner of people including the good and the bad.
“Gombe being at the centre is now a transit route for drugs and sometimes even weapons. I have made several trips to the Defence Headquarters where I met the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Army Staff and eventually ended up seeing the National Security Adviser and Mr President. I know when we have control over illicit drugs every other issue can be controlled as well,” he added.
The governor noted that his visit to the NDLEA headquarters was to solicit for more support from the Agency so that together with the effort of the Gombe State Government, they eradicate the use and trade of illicit drugs.
As part of his administration’s efforts in maintaining existing peace and security in Gombe State, he revealed that there is a security summit underway.
“We are organizing a security summit very soon in Gombe. We have secured the approval of the Inspector General of Police to. We are aiming specifically to getting the support of other security agencies to see how we can have a framework on how we can curtail all these nefarious activities in the state.
“I wish to thank you most profoundly for what NDLEA is doing especially when you assumed leadership and I want to assure you that Gombe state is ready and willing to synergize with you so that we can get our people out of this mess that is becoming a scourge. God will continue to guide you and protect you as you deliver on this very tasking mandate” Governor Yahaya added.
He commended the Agency over its high profile arrests of drug dealers across the country and other successes achieved in the war against drug abuse.
On his part, chairman of NDLEA, Marwa, said the drugs scourge is an unacceptable situation considering the damage it has done to the psyche of country.
He said with 13.6 percent prevalence the North East ranks fourth among the six geo-political zones of the country.
The NDLEA boss thanked Governor Yahaya for partnering with the agency at the State level to combat the use and trade of illicit drugs.
“I am in constant touch with our commander in Gombe and she has mentioned that His Excellency has been given us support and we really appreciate your efforts so far,” he said.
He equally thanked Governor Yahaya for doing everything necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the State despite being at the centre of the insurgency- stricken North East.
“I must use this opportunity to commend you for the excellent work you are doing in Gombe, the infrastructure, Agriculture and security; I don’t know if you have a military or paramilitary background somewhere but in the current climate in the North, Gombe is relatively peaceful.
“Here the leadership has a very important role to play and you have mentioned yourself how you have interacted with the President, the Chief of Defence Staff and other service chiefs. This is really the way to go in this matter so that all hands must be on deck; we wish you more peace and prosperity without which the developmental work will be very difficult at the State level”, Marwa added.
He disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had recently launched a campaign, War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), not just as a slogan, but a call for civil action for all Nigerians at all levels to take active part in the war.