Tunde Bolaji – Minna
Residents in Niger State and indeed all Nigerians have been tasked by governor Abubakar Sani Bello to take up the responsibility of building the youths in the society as social security and part of their moral obligation.
The governor made this appeal when he commissioned the Social Rehabilitation Center in the State remodelled by the First Lady of the state, Dr. Amina Sani Bello in collaboration with the State Government and other stakeholders .
Governor Sani Bello, who applauded the initiative as a timely intervention, said that the project will compliment the efforts of the state government in the fight against drug abuse.
He added that his administration was deeply concerned about the proliferation of drugs in the state and is working towards finding a lasting solution to the problem.
“We realised that drug abuse is a major factor contributing to the widening state of insecurity in the country. We have therefore set up a committee to look into drug abuse in Niger State and we realised that the easiest way to curb the menace is to block all access routes in the state especially, in the rural areas.”
“The relevant authorities have taken up the task and we hope that with the support of individuals and groups such as this, we will soon come to the end of the fight against drug abuse.”
He commended the Northern Governors Wife’s Forum for supporting the initiative while stressing the importance of maintaining and sustaining the project.
Wife of the Governor, Dr. Amina Abubakar Bello who is also the Chairperson, Northern Governor’s Wife Forum and also the initiator of the project said the serious menace of drugs and other substance abuse that has befallen youths in the country particularly in the Northern States informed the decision to remodel the Social Rehabilitation Center in the state.
Dr. Amina who disclosed that research has shown that northern states have the largest number of youth who abuse drugs ranging from depressants such as marijuana, alcohol, barbiturates, morphine, codiene, hypnotics, sedatives, and anxiolytics to stimulants such as amphetamine, metamphetamine, ephedrine, cocaine among others stated that the substances are harmful to health as it causes damages to the brain, spinal cord and other organs of the body.
She then called on parents as well as members of the society to be on the alert as the effects of drug abuse affects everyone in the society directly or indirectly.
Dr. Amina also stated that the NGWF as part of their concern and contribution has been able to equip the ICT/Library room to help with the rehabilitation of the clients that will pass through the centre.
The Permanent Secretary, Niger State Ministry of Health, Pharm.Dr. Ahmed Ndagi Mohammed speaking at the event said that the center was founded by the Association of Lady Pharmacists Niger State chapter and was commissioned in May 1995.
He said the center has a record of over 4,232 patients since inception with 65% of the patients treated fully to join the outer world.
Pharm. Ndagi Mohammed commended the efforts of the First Lady in renovating the center into a modern facility adding that with modern equipment and facilities, the center would do more in the rehabilitation of drug addicts.
In his goodwill message, the Emir of Minna, Alh. (Dr.) Umaru Faruq Bahago who was represented by the Magajin Rafin Minna, Alh. Danjuma Sallawu noted that the increase rate of drug abuse in the state and the country at large is alarming and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency , thereby urging the people to support the government in the fight against drug abuse.
Hajiya Maimuna Aliyu who spoke on behalf of the Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria, as mothers pledged their support to help fight drug abuse in the state as well as the country.
She however commended Governor Sani Bello and his wife for her initiative, adding that her contributions to the fight of the menace of drug abuse in the state would be remembered .
Present at the commissioning were the Secretary to the State Government, Alh. Ahmed Matane, wives of Northern Governors as well as traditional rulers.