Anti-drug campaign: Kaduna North elders’ forum commends CDS, NDLEA boss, other 

Concerned elders in the Kaduna North Senatorial District have commended the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Gwabim Musa, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd),  as well as a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI), for initiating the anti-drug campaign in the Central and Southern senatorial districts of the state.

Operating under the auspices of the Kaduna North senatorial Elders’ Forum, the senior citizens said the joint campaign is resonating with the vulnerable populations in the two senatorial districts, considering the feelers received by independent investigators.

Specifically, the elders noted, with admiration, that the deradicalisation and reformation programme has rescued hundreds of youths, including women, from the jaws of drug addiction.

Accordingly, the forum has made a passionate appeal to the CDS, and other partners to extend the laudable campaign to Kaduna North Senatorial zone, with a view to rehabilitating drug addicts within the area.

The elders made the passionate call in an open letter signed by Sheikh Baba Ibrahim  (Zaria, LGA); Sheikh Mohammed Hassan (Ikara LGA), Alh Nakaka Gambo (Lere LGA), Dr Hamza Kudan (kudan LGA),  and Alh Maigari Suleiman soba LGA).

Other signatories include: Mr Bitrus Maigrima (Sabon Gari Local Government); Hajiya Mairo Danjuma ( Makarfi LGA); and Mrs Grace Maiwazi (Kubau  Local Government).

Their SoS followed the Kaduna Central Senatorial District Youth Anti-Drugs and Deradicalization Campaign 2024, which was held at Arewa House in Kaduna North Local Government. 

The event, convened by the Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI), in conjunction with the Defence Headquarters and the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, not only served as a platform for impact assessment but also appreciated collaborators for their unwavering partnership and determination to contain drug abuse and addiction in the state.

In their open letter, however, the Kaduna North senatorial district Elders’ Forum said the need for the extension of the laudable initiative had been urgent and compelling, considering the nexus between drug abuse and crime in the country.

The elders said: “We are using this open letter to thank the CDS, General Musa; the NDLEA Chair, Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), and the Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative, for recognising the damaging effects that drug and substance abuse has brought upon the state, and the urgent need for intervention.

“Our commendation is predicated on the damage drug abuse has done to our youths, and even women, leading to broken homes, values, and worsening insecurity.

“As elders, our first reaction, when we got acquainted with the programme, was to send an independent team to interview the ordinary people on the streets of Kaduna Central, and South, including markets and other places of interest.

“It was interesting to find that the programme has continued to gain acceptability across the segments of society, who have remained at the receiving end of drug and substance abuse in the respective communities.

“We, therefore, urge our fellow elders, men, sons, and daughters in the Kaduna Central, and Southern Senatorial Districts to do everything within their means to support this advocacy programme, bearing in mind its capacity to reduce crime and criminality to its barest minimum.

“Having said that, we wish to appeal to our amiable General Musa, the former distinguished Military Administrator of Lagos, as well as the human-centred NGO, to extend this gesture to Kaduna North senatorial district.

“Our appeal is neither founded on political consideration, nor is it self-serving, but purely based on altruism, having regard to the fact that our district is an integral part of the strategic North Western state.

“We are all witnesses to the regrouping of terrorists and other violent campaigners at places where kinetic, and non-kinetic efforts have been absent, hence the need to save Kaduna North senatorial zone the pain of playing host to dissidents.

“We commend the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa for hosting such a laudable programme which is one of its kind in the history of Nigeria.

“From our investigation and enquiry, the programme is not just a normal showoff that other people do but a grassroots one that is aiming to address the key issues.

“We thanked the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, the Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI), Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, General Buba Marwa for this laudable programme they have brought to Kaduna State.

“Our findings reveal that a lot of jobs have been done in the area of combating drug addiction, sensitization of people on the dangers of drugs and rehabilitation of addicts in Kaduna Central and Southern Senatorial District

 “Also, from our investigation, the programme is addressing the issue from the street, communities and the trenches besides empowering people who are into these drugs.

“However, we don’t know if the programme is coming to Kaduna North Senatorial District but we once again appeal to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, the Chairman, of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, General Buba Marwa and the Executive Director, Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, to please, extend the programme to Kaduna North Senatorial District, particularly to Zaria, where we can bring delegates from the eight local government areas to the programme. 

“There is no doubt that Kaduna North senatorial district has the highest number of drug abuse and highest number of banditry in Kaduna state courtesy of drug abuse. Drug abuse has eaten so deep into the fabric of the society.

“We promise to cooperate with you to ensure that the Programme is successful. We also promise to take the programme back to the community to address the menace.”