The Borno State Government says it may declare a state of emergency to curb the menace of drug abuse in communities liberated from Boko Haram control.
Kaka Shehu, the Borno State Commissioner for Justice told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Wednesday in Maiduguri that illicit drug use and abuse among the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state was becoming alarming.
Mr. Shehu, the Chairman, Borno State Committee for the Control of Drug Abuse, noted that in spite of security challenges in the state, there had been significant successes in the fight against drug abuse.
“I recall that some of offices of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) were attacked in Gamboru Ngala, Banki, Baga and here in Maiduguri before it was taken over by Boko Haram insurgency.
“But in spite of these challenges, the NDLEA Borno Command was able to recover more than 20 tonnes of various of assorted illicit drugs.”
He said the agency also made significant arrests of drug barons, consumers and other traffickers over the last three years.
“It is against this backdrop that the government has deemed it fit to support the agency in its effort to wipe out the menace of drug abuse by setting up a Drug Control Committee.
“The committee comprises, the military, NDLEA, Police, Civil Defence and other humanitarian and non Governmental Organisations.
“So far, we have mapped-out an aggressive sensitisation on drug abuse in almost all the IDP camps because we have discovered that some IDPs are chronic addicts of illicit drugs.
“Our fear is that we do not want these IDPs to get back to their liberated homes and continue to constitute nuisances.
“We have had enough of Boko Haram and enough of our youth engaging in drug abuse.
“We do not want to go to the camps to start effecting arrests now because of the condition they have found themselves.
“But be rest assured that as we are moving to return them to their liberated communities, we will ensure that we clear the communities of nefarious activities.
“You can see that the truck that was intercepted about 1, 200 kilograms of Indian Hemp was heading to Gamboru Ngala — a liberated community.
“The committee will then, continue to liaise with NDLEA, to ensure that all liberated communities are free of illicit drugs.
“We will also liaise with Federal High Courts to ensure that all cases of drug abuse was handled with dispatch to serve as warnings to others,” Mr. Shehu said.
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