Zamfara-based Islamic scholar, Sheik Umar Kanoma, has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on drug and substance abuse in the country.
Kanoma made the call yesterday in a paper titled: “The Increase of Drug Abuse among Women and Youths and How to Stop It’’’ at the NTA Gusau Ramadan lecture.
“Laws on illicit drugs are ineffective on suppliers, distributors, hawkers and consumers and therefore the devastation has continued unabated unless a serious state of emergency is declared on the menace,’’ he said.
According to him, drug abuse has penetrated into all sectors with abusers found among religious leaders, traditional leaders, security agents, government and private workers and making it hard to stop the trend.
The cleric, who is the Chief Imam of Umar Bin Khattab Juma’at Mosque, Gusau, noted that development would continue to be slowed down by drug abuse since the youths were the most affected.
“It is disheartening to see that our women, married and unmarried have joined in abusing these drugs and so, no one can closely watch over the children because mothers are more caring and watchful over the family values.
“If the situation is not immediately stopped, the cases of banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, communal clashes and other criminalities will not stop in spite of the war against them,” Kanoma said.
He noted that banditry and other crimes were easily organised and coordinated from rural communities now because the rural areas had become haven for drug abuse where nobody cares or people are afraid to raise alarm.