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Alarming; Drug Abuse Rampant Among IDPs, Borno Govt Plans State of Emergency

The Borno State Government is planning to declare a state of emergency in communities liberated from Boko Haram control in order to aid the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in its effort to controlling and ending illicit drug that has become unbridled in camp of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The state Borno Commissioner for Justice , Alhaji Kaka Shehu, on Wednesday stated this in Maiduguri while filling questions from newsmen. He said that illicit drug abuse among the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state was becoming alarming.
Shehu, the Chairman, Borno State Committee for the Control of Drug Abuse, noted that in spite of security challenges in the state, there had been significant successes in the fight against drug abuse.
“I recall that some of offices of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) were attacked in Gamborun Ngala, Banki, Baga and here in Maiduguri before it was taken over by Boko Haram insurgency.
“But in spite of these challenges, the NDLEA Borno Command was able to recover more than 20 tonnes of various illicit drugs.
He said the agency also made significant arrests of drug barons, consumers and other traffickers over the last three years.
“It is against this backdrop that the government has decided to support the agency in its effort to wipe out the menace of drug abuse by setting up a Drug Control Committee.
“The committee comprises, the military, NDLEA, Police, Civil Defence and other humanitarian and non Governmental Organisations.
“So far, we have mapped-out an aggressive sensitisation effort on drug abuse in almost all the IDP camps because we have discovered that some of them are chronic addicts of illicit drugs.
“Our fear is that we do not want these IDPs to get back to their liberated homes and continue to constitute nuisance.
“We have had enough of Boko Haram and enough of our youths engaging in drug abuse.
“We do not want to go to the camps to start effecting arrests now because of the condition they have found themselves.
“But, be rest assured that as we are moving to return them to their liberated communities, we will ensure that we clear the communities of nefarious activities.
“You can see that a truck that was intercepted with about 1, 200 kilograms of Indian Hemp was heading to Gamborun Ngala — a liberated community.
“The committee will then, continue to liaise with NDLEA, to ensure that all liberated communities are free of illicit drugs.
“We will also liaise with the Federal High Courts to ensure that all cases of drug abuse was handled with dispatch to serve as warnings to others,’’ Shehu said.

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