By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has expressed worry over the increased rate of drug abuse in the State despite efforts by relevant stakeholders to curb the menace, saying his administration would not tolerate the disturbance of peace in the State under whatever influence.
Lalong noted that the situation where the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA had to destroy various drugs weighing several kilograms seized at various times in the State reveal the extent to which illicit drugs are being peddled and taken in the State.
Speaking yesterday at Nanfang Mountain in the Du district, Jos South local government area of the State during the public destruction of forfeited drug exhibits by the State Command of NDLEA, the Governor said “the development underscores the danger that we face as a State.”
His words, “The Agency destroyed various drugs weighing over 16.697Kg having succeeded in apprehending drug peddlers and their collaborators, some of whom have been tried and convicted and others still undergoing prosecution.
“The menace of illicit drug production, trafficking, distribution and consumption is not new to our country and indeed to our State. What has continued to raise concerns is the fact that despite concerted efforts by Government, Development Partners, Religious, Traditional and Civil society Organisations, this dangerous trend has continued to grow.
“We remain committed to consolidating on the gains recorded in order to give our people the right environment to prosper. I wish to again warn all miscreants and criminal elements that under my watch, we shall use all the resources and instruments available to us to deal decisively with anyone found threatening the peace of our people whether under the influence of drugs or otherwise.”
On likely solution to the problem, he added, “I have directed the Commissioners of Secondary and Higher Education to ensure that they encourage and sustain sensitization and education of students against drug abuse and associated crimes. We need to work ahead by adopting preventive measures that will keep our children away from the damaging impact of drugs.
“Using such an approach, we shall not only save the lives of many, but also recruit ambassadors and advocates that will help propagate the campaign against this monster which is now threatening our collective existence. A stitch in time they say saves nine.”