By Hajara Leman
The National Drugs Law Enforcements Agency (NDLEA) in Gombe State, says it has arrested 16 females and 261 male suspects in connection with drugs related offences across the state.
NDLEA’s State Coordinator, Mrs Ekaete Egwunwoke, said operatives of the Agency apprehended the suspects in the past one year in various raids across the state.
She stated this on Saturday during the commemoration of the 2022 International Day Against Illicit Drug Trafficking and Abuse, in Kumo, Headquarters of Akko Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UN Day Against Illicit Drug Trafficking and Abuse is being celebrated every June 26.
The theme for the 2022 celebration is: “Addressing drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crisis”.
Egwunwoke said the suspects had been arrested from June 2021 to June 2022, adding that the Agency secured 22 convictions while 88 cases were pending before the courts.
She said that the remaining cases were being referred to counseling centre for rehabilitation.
According to her, member nations mark June 26, to appraise the measures put in place to fight the menace in the society, successes achieved and renew their strength, strategies to improve on their activities.
Egwunwoke commended the state government, Emir of Akko and other stakeholders for their support in the fight against drug abuse.
Dr Habu Dahiru, the state Commissioner for Health, said that government had adopted proactive measures to check circulation of illicit drugs.
Dahiru, represented by Dr Dahiru Mohammed, Special Assistant to Gov. Inuwa Yahaya on Health, said the feat was achieved through the activation of state drug control committee.
“And also the establishment of Drug Management Agency, to mitigate the menace of illicit and substandard drugs coming into the state,” he said.
Mr Philemon Sokyes, Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Gombe State Hospital Management Board, said the misuse or drug abuse could lead to health challenges which affect an individual or the entire society.
In his presentation entitled: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crisis”, Sokyes said that people of all ages, educational background and economic status suffered the harmful consequences of drug abuse.
Sokyes was represented by Mr Sebastine Zubeiru, lecturer, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Gombe State University (GSU).
He said the use of illicit drugs had increased remarkably while the world continued to witness armed conflicts and humanitarian crises.
On his part, Emir of Akko, Alhaji Umar Atiku stressed the need for engagement of parents in the fight against drug abuse.
“Involvement and support of guardians and parents is critical in preventing substance abuse,” he said.
The royal father urged arents who indulged in drugs and substances abuse to quit to enable them to serve as role models to their wards.
Highlights of the event were exhibition of illicit drugs and decoration of Emir of Akko, Commissioner of Health and selected individuals others as Ambassadors of War Against Drug Abuse. (NAN)