By; ABDULL-AZEEZ AHMED KADIR.
Niger State Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has tasked the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) to partner with his administration in the fight against drug abuse and sales of expired drugs in the state.
According to a statement by Jibrin Baba Ndace, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Sani Bello threw the challenge when he played host to the National President of the Society, Pharmacist Ahmad Ibrahim Yakasai who led members of his executive council who were in Minna, the state capital for the 89th annual conference of the society to Government House.
The governor expressed deep concern that the effect of drug abuse is gradually taking deep root in the social and communal life of the people of the state, especially the youth.
He also said a new emerging trend is the sales of expired drugs, especially in the rural areas. He blamed some pharmacists who indulged in the sales of expired drugs to unsuspecting members of the public.
The governor said some Pharmacists have been identified as culprits and that state government will not hesitate to hand over anybody engaging in unwholesome and unethical practice to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
He challenged the society to carry out internal cleansing of bad eggs in practice by impounding and withdrawing the licence of any Pharmacy or Pharmacist found aiding drug abuse or dealing in fake and expired drugs.
“The is a fight that all of us must join hands to fight. As a professional body, I will suggest that you withdraw the licence of any erring member. When you do that for one or two others in the illegal act, they will cautioned themselves.
“For us we are going to go after any Pharmacist or Pharmacy found aiding drug abuse buy selling drugs to people without prescription by a qualified doctor. We have identified some. We are going after them. This is a total war. Same goes for those trading in expired and fake drugs. We are coming for them” the governor warned.
Earlier the National President of the Society, Pharmacist Ahmad Ibrahim Yakasai said the society was committed to a cordial and team work spirit with other professional bodies in the healthcare delivery service.
He then called on the people of the state to participate in the forth coming drug abuse campaign across the country.
Niger State is hosting the 89th annual conference of the society.