By: BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), Nigeria’s anti narcotics and drug regulatory body has raised concerns over the growing cases of drug addiction amongst the female folks including married women in Niger state.
The agency said it has been inundated with the worrisome development in recent years even as more number of addicts are recorded regularly.
It therefore alerted that society’s stakeholders including community and religious leaders, institutions such as religious worship places, schools, the police and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control should step up action to help checkmate the dangerous development in the state.
The anti narcotics body said it’s confines were being populated by females addicts mostly young ladies and middle aged married women who are being lured into the bad and dangerous habits of drugs and narcotics use and abuse.
The lead on the sad development was made public when the wife of Niger state governor, Dr. Amina Abubakar Sani Bello visited the rehabilitation centre of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Minna to launch the newly renovated rehabilitation centre.
The wife of the governor said the development was worrisome more so as it is involving women who are cradle of life as mothers and or future mothers.
She said the level of drug abuse and addiction was disturbing and portents grave danger for the state and country at large.
Dr. Amina Abubakar Sani Bello, a medical practitioner, decried that drug addiction and abuse could lead to demented population and a wasted generation.
She noted that drug addiction usually leads to various societal vices and crimes such as promiscuity, prostitution, armed robbery, health challenges and death.
The governor’s wife has a pet project, the Raise Foundation which has been providing succours to women with health challenges such as Cancer, the Vestico Viginal Fistula, (VVF) challenges associated with post child birth, neonatals and various forms of empowerment for women across the state.
Dr. Amina Abubakar Sani Bello warned that drug abuse and addiction could also lead to severe socio economic losses as addicts are usually left battered and dislocated to be of any meaningful life to both themselves and the larger society.
She divulged plans by her project to roll out a massive programme to establish a platform that would check all forms of misnomer including drug abuse and addiction by women in the state.
Dr. Amina stressed that the scourge must be tackled by all and sundry just as she warned that the negative effects of psychotropic substances and such regulated drugs that were now being abused, should not be underestimated as addicts often end up with mismanaged lives.
Chairman of the NDLEA, Col. Muhammed Mustapha Abdullahi, (retrd) further lamented the involvement of women in drug related abuses in parts of the country.
He attributed the bad development to aping trends in western world by younger persons including girls and married women.
The drug Czar who was in Minna to inspect the rehabilitated NDLEA rehab centre in the state capital which was carried out by a non governmental organization, (NGO), the Aisha Fulani Foundation, praised the private efforts by the organization to change the face of drug addicts and those wasted by narcotics.
While commending the founder of the Aisha Fulani Foundation, Hajiya Aisha Umar for her bold, public spirited contribution to the state, he said her efforts should be copied and amplified by other well meaning citizens, corporate bodies and institutions.
Aisha Umar, the founder of the NGO said she was moved to intervene in rehabilitating the centre to give hope and new life and a sense of belonging to inmates at the centre.
She decried the growing increase in the number of women in drug abuse and use of narcotics in the state. She said the trend was not only worrisome but gravely dangerous for the state and country.
“The increasing number of young persons particularly young boys, ladies and married women in drug abuse and use of narcotics in parts of the state is worrisome” she cried out.
She urged for concerted and a holistic efforts by all, saying the trend was a bad and sad development which must be arrested promptly.