NNN: The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Gombe State said it had arrested 16 female and 261 male suspects in connection with drug offenses across the state.
NDLEA State Coordinator, Ms Ekaete Egwunwoke, said Agency agents had apprehended the suspects over the past year in various raids across the state.
She said so on Saturday during the commemoration of the International Day Against Illicit Drug Trafficking and Abuse 2022, in Kumo, the seat of the Akko local government area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the United Nations Day Against Illicit Drug Trafficking and Abuse is observed every June 26.
The theme for the 2022 celebration is: “Addressing Drug-Related Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises”.
Egwunwoke said the suspects were arrested from June 2021 to June 2022, adding that the agency had secured 22 convictions while 88 cases were pending in court.
She said the remaining cases were referred to the counseling center for rehabilitation.
According to her, the member nations mark June 26 to assess the measures put in place to combat the threat in the society, the successes achieved and renew their strength, the strategies to improve their activities.
Egwunwoke commended the state government, the Emir of Akko and other stakeholders for their support in the fight against drug addiction.
Dr. Habu Dahiru, state health commissioner, said the government has taken proactive measures to control the flow of illicit drugs.
Dahiru, represented by Dr. Dahiru Mohammed, Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s special assistant on health, said the feat was achieved through the activation of the national drug control committee.
“And also the establishment of the Drug Management Agency, to mitigate the threat of illicit and substandard drugs entering the state,” he said.
Mr. Philemon Sokyes, Director of Pharmaceutical Services at Gombe State Hospital Management Board, said drug abuse or misuse could lead to health issues that affect an individual or the whole of the society.
In his presentation titled: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crisis,” Sokyes said that people of all ages, education levels, and economic statuses suffer the adverse 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 dramatically as the world continued to experience armed conflict and humanitarian crises.
For his part, the Emir of Akko, Alhaji Umar Atiku stressed the need for parental involvement in the fight against drug addiction.
“The involvement and support of guardians and parents is key to preventing drug abuse,” he said.
The royal father urged parents who engaged in drug and substance abuse to quit to enable them to serve as role models for their wards.
Highlights of the event were the display of illicit drugs and the decoration of the Emir of Akko, health commissioner and other selected individuals as ambassadors for the war on drug addiction.