Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has assured the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) of his commitment to bolstering the partnership between his government and the anti-narcotics agency, to achieve a drug-free society across the state’s 27 local councils.
Zulum gave the assurance when he hosted the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig-Gen. Mohammed Marwa (rtd). He was in the state for a three-day War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy to mobilise relevant stakeholders to fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
While commending the governor for his remarkable achievements in office, Marwa briefed him on the purpose of his visit as part of his ongoing social advocacy sensitisation efforts across the country. This is to engage with stakeholders to cascade WADA’s efforts from the national level to the grassroots.
He said everything must be done to drastically reduce demand for illicit drugs and cut down access and availability of psychoactive substances, because of the nexus between illicit drugs and security challenges facing the state and the country as a whole.
At the palace of Shehu of Borno, Abubakar El-Kanemi, the NDLEA chairman urged the monarch to continue his support for the fight against illicit drugs, while urging drug tests for intending couples as part of conditions for the conduct of weddings.
According to him, this will discourage a lot of young people from going into substance abuse.
Responding, the Shehu assured Marwa that all the 59 district heads under his emirate and the Chief Imam of Borno, Zanna Ahmad, present at the meeting, would go back to their domains to implement the idea, including setting up drug control committees.
The idea was also endorsed by the Christian community in another meeting held with leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno.
Also, during an advocacy visit to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Prof. Aliyu Shugaba and his management team, the NDLEA boss called for drug tests for fresh and returning students, to discourage those with the disposition to abuse illicit substances.