The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Chairman, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, said on Monday in Kano that the state had about two million drug addicts, representing 16 per cent prevalence.
Marwa made the disclosure when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
“In Kano State, drug abuse prevalence is 16 per cent; that is, in every six persons, one is a drug addict and they are between the ages of 15 years and 64 years.
“Kano State has close to two million drug users abusing tramadol, codeine and other cough syrups, rather than cannabis.
“I will like to mention here that since I assumed leadership of NDLEA in January, we have seized over two million kilogrammes of assorted drugs, estimated at billions of Naira.
“Eight thousand people were arrested and 1,600 are now serving jail terms in correctional service facilities, and we are still working.
“Drug abuse has gone to the level of destroying our families unless is tackled with all seriousness it deserves,’’ he said.
Marwa said that the use drugs propelled criminal activities ranging from banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery, among others.
He said that NDLEA was comfortable that Kano State government was a worthy partner in tackling drug abuse.
Marwa urged the state government to make legislation that would prevent politicians from giving drugs to youths.
He also urged the government to make legislation on compulsory drug abuse test for intending couples, also as part of measures to fight against drug abuse.
In his address of welcome, Governor Ganduje said that Kano State is the most populous state with highest number of youths and a commercial nerve centre of Nigeria and some West African countries.
“Being commercial centre, some use that opportunity to traffic drugs and you know we have the international airport, railway and roads that link to many states.
“So, Kano find itself in a vulnerable situation,’’ the governor said.
He added that it was a policy in the state that commissioners and permanent secretaries must undergo drug abuse test before getting appointed so as to reduce drug abuse rate in the state.
Ganduje said that government would relocate legitimate drug dealers to a market as part of efforts to check drug abuse and trafficking.
At the Emir of Kano’s palace, Marwa solicited for the support of the emirate in addressing the menace.
He urged the emirate to assist NDLEA in enlightening landlords that any house found to be used for drug abuse and trafficking would be confiscated by court.
Walin-Kano, Alhaji Mahe Bashir-Wali, who represented Emir Aminu Ado-Bayero, assured Marwa of the emirate’s support in the on-going fight against drug abuse.
“If we succeed, we would have enhanced security situation. We are ever ready to join hands with NDLEA to fight against the scourge,’’ Bashir-Wali said.