Drug abuse among youths of Kano state has reached a disturbing level. BASHIR MOHAMMED, in this piece, notes that despite the efforts of the state government to checkmate the phenomenon, it is not yet Uhuru
Drug abuse as recurring decimal
The menace of drug abuse among youths in Kano has become a recurring decimal, becoming a cause for great concern to parents, government and stakeholders who are conversant with the fact that unless the menace is nipped in the bud, the future would never be rosy for these youths.
For those who knew what had been happening, there are dangerous and notorious black spots in Kano generally, but most especially in the metropolitan areas, where drugs are consumed with impunity, with many drug- selling kingpins daring the authorities-security agents any time their drugs selling hubs were raided despite the fact that it had never stopped the preying security agents from casting their dragnets.
The syndrome of drug abuse is even becoming prevalent among women against the usual expectation that men had been known to be deeply enmeshed in the unwholesome practice, and that it had been the contention of pundits and opinion leaders that the issue of poverty and massive unemployment among youths were believed to be responsible for rampant cases of the drug abuse trend.
The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, the NDLEA, being the body responsible for reprimanding the culprits for consuming drugs illicitly and the barons responsible for distributing the substances, has been on a constant prowl, descending on the perpetrators of the illicit practice, who even after serving their jail terms found their way back into the obnoxious practice.
What is most disturbing as well as astonishing to those keenly watching the unfolding ugly episode of drug abuse that is currently prevalent among youths in Kano is the cavalier manner women on their teen resorted to illicit drugs consumption, disregarding their charming beautiful physique, braving the consequences and the danger posed to their lives.
Kano Govt’s Empowerment Initiatives
Knowing the importance of waging a persistent campaign against drug abuse with a target at those engaging in the abominable act to discern its danger, the Ganduje administration had come up with various empowerment initiatives aimed at supporting the youths to become self-reliant and viably enterprising as a step towards checking the menace of drug abuse which often leads to the perpetration of heinous crimes.
It was however the stance of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje that reforming and rehabilitating drug addicts would in the near future make them to become responsible members of the society, predicating his belief on the premise that government had an abiding obligation to consider the plight of youths taking to drugs as very serious.
It was in view of this, according to the governor that his administration saw the compelling need to accord priority to the issue of youth empowerment which can create jobs and dampen the spirit of the idle ones to comprehend the futility of committing crimes and all forms of social vices.
With the Ganduje administration taking the gauntlet to push the drive for self- reliance among the teeming unemployed youths in Kano, the Zonal Command of the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had on its part intensified effort towards sensitizing youths who engaged in drug abuse to renounce the dubious practice, despite the recalcitrant posture adopted by those taking solace and driving pleasure in the business to continue.
But in spite of the daily crack down by security operatives on notable drug barons and chronic drugs consumers in Kano, opinion was however divided on the methodology of fighting the menace with many suspecting an underground collusion between the kingpins and some bad eggs in security circles who out of their unpatriotic posture allegedly support the illicit business to thrive.
In the words of a concerned parent, Malam Abdullahi Zawaciki, fighting the menace of drug abuse in Kano, is a herculean task that must be handled with some degree of seriousness looking at the alarming rate with which drug abuse is taking a destructive toll on the lives of many young and enterprising youths, who are supposed to lead the fight against the menace.
According to him, the issue of empowering youths by Governor Ganduje, to become responsible and self-reliant is highly commendable in the light of the whooping amount of money sunk into the empowerment project, adding that poverty, unemployment and idleness is greatly contributing to the perpetuation of drug abuse among youths which leads to all forms of crimes.
He said with the surging population of youths in Kano, and the absence of white collar jobs to be offered by the government, creating avenues for self-employment would be a stepping stone towards entrenching peace and stability among in Kano.
Sounding a discordant tune on how the war against drug abuse should be waged in Kano another concerned parent, Alhaji Shehu Maihaja Marmaras, casts aspersion on the inability of parents to wage the war at community level through active participation in the much pronounced community policing for crimes being committed under the influence of hard drugs to be curtailed to the barest minimum.
According to him, the issue of whistle blowing at the community level is not receiving the good attention of the people in the face of the monumental failure of the people to expose the identity of culprits in their midst on account of either selling the drugs to consumers or failing to call their erring children to order.
He said a lot of damage had been done to the society by shielding those perpetrating the heinous act of drug abuse with levity, pointing out that participating in active community policing would have reduced the negative repercussions to a great extent.
He stressed the need for supporting security agencies fighting the menace with sophisticated communication gadgets for them to be strong enough to face daunting challenges. He believes that with the provision of modern communication facilities, the war against drug abuse could be achieved.
But the overriding opinion among observers in Kano is for the state government under the leadership of Governor Ganduje to sustain the tempo of lending credence to the empowerment drive to enable the teeming unemployed youths to earn a living and reduce the spate of crimes emanating from the drug abuse syndrome.