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Kwara Gov pledges improved partnership with NDLEA on fight against drug abuse

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•As Agency burns 24.6 tons of illicit drugs, substance in Ilorin_

GBENGA OLARINOYE, Ilorin

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Wednesday said the administration would not relent in its partnerships with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Kwara State Command, in checking the menace of drug abuse.

He commended the NDLEA Chairman, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd.), and his team for their efforts to rid the country and Kwara State, in particular, of cases of drug addiction.

The Governor spoke in Ilorin at an event to destroy 24.6 tons of illicit narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances seized by the NDLEA, Kwara State Command.

“We all know the menace of drug abuse and addiction, and how it destroys families, communities and the State, to the extent that non-state actors are now using drugs as a form of investments and means to continue to perpetrate violence in the society,” he said.

“As far as the government is concerned, the issue of drugs in our society is huge and must be combated. That is why I had to re-arrange my plans to be part of this occasion to show that the government has a buy-in in it.”

AbdulRazaq expressed delight that Kwara, which was in 2018 rated high as one of the states abusing drugs, is now gaining strength in the control, promising to continue to support the State Command on advocacy campaigns.

“We know the job of the NDLEA Chairman across the nation is huge. We need to continue the advocacies. We will partner with NDLEA to sponsor programmes on Radio and Television stations to pass the message to our communities and so on,” the Governor added.

Dignitaries at the event were the Kwara First Lady, Amb. Mrs. Olufolake AbdulRazaq, represented by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Raji Razaq; representative of the Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Zonal Commander (Zone C), Dr. Malami Sokoto; Kwara State Commander for NDLEA, Alhaji Ibrahim Saidu; Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Alhaji Abdul-Razhaq Jiddah; and Chairman, Kwara State Drug Control Committee, Pharmacist Barakat Olanrewaju; among others.

Dr. Razaq, who represented the Kwara First Lady, Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq, said State Drug Control Committee has been doing greatly more than ever before, and attributed the improvement to the investment of AbdulRazaq in health sector.

He also said the First Lady has been championing the fight against the menace in the State.

“The First lady of Kwara State is the Champion for the drug control committee in Kwara State. The Committee has been responsive in carrying out functions it never carried out in the State for the last ten years. That tells us that the investment of His Excellency, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in health sector especially on drug control is yielding results,” he said.

Razaq urged relevant agencies to conduct a fresh survey on Kwara’s control of drugs, saying the 2018 poor rating was no longer valid.

State Commander of NDLEA, Alhaji Ibrahim Saidu, in his remarks, said a total of 171 convictions have been secured on the seized drugs, describing it as a major achievement of the Agency.

He acknowledged the important roles of the State government and other stakeholders in achieving such feats.

He appealed to them to sustain their support for maximum success in the fight against drug abuse.

Highlight of the occasion was the burning of the 24,616,111 kg worth of illicit drugs and substances confiscated by the Agency.

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