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Drug abuse among youths alarming – Lalong, Al-Makura

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Friday Olokor, Jos

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, and his Nasarawa State counterpart, Tanko Al-Makura, on Wednesday, in Jos, expressed concern over the increase in the rate of substance abuse among youths in the country despite several efforts to reverse the trend.

They both expressed their views while addressing participants at the bi-annual conference of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency with the theme, “Developing strategies for effective implementation of government drug law policy.”

According to them, youths on a daily basis were being arrested for drug-related offences, advising that the NDLEA should not relent but intensify efforts at curbing the menace.

Al-Makura, represented by the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Abdulhameed Kwarra, regretted that the state was among the top three states in Nigeria with the problem of substance abuse.

“Nasarawa State is one of the top three states in Nigeria with the problem of substance abuse. This shows that there is a market for drug use in the state and my government, in collaboration with the NDLEA, is going to double efforts at combating this menace,” Al-Makura stated.

Lalong, represented by the Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Prof Sonni Tyoden, said the theme of the conference was apt as there was the need for the top officers of the NDLEA to brainstorm on ways to reduce drug abuse.

He said, “We are witnesses to the negative health and socio-economic implications of illicit drug supply and consumption in our communities. As you rethink your strategies, it is my expectation that you will bring your experiences of the dynamic nature of illicit drug consumption and trafficking to bear in resolving this age-long menace.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Muhammad Abdalla, explained that the three-day conference would consider issues holistically, intensively and extensively.

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