By Gabriel Yough
The wife of Taraba governor, Mrs Anna Ishaku, through her Hope Afresh Foundation, on Thursday led women in the state on a campaign against substance abuse in various locations.
Speaking at a sensitisation workshop at the Taraba University in Jalingo, Ishaku said she had received disturbing reports on the rate of substance abuse in the state, which informed her decision to personally lead the campaign against the menace.
“Report reaching me indicates that there is one drug addict per five households in Taraba, which is unacceptable.
“As a mother, I felt disturbed by this development and decided to lead the campaign against this trend, which is rapidly killing our future leaders,” she said.
Ishaku, who took the campaign to Government Secondary School Mayo-Dassa, Jalingo, and Jalingo Main Motor Park, urged the people to “Say No to Drugs and Yes to life”.
She noted that the choice of the venues were informed by the strategic role students and road transport workers could play in the fight against drug abuse.
The state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Haruna Manu, commended the wife of the governor for her efforts to rid the state of illicit drugs and other social ills.
Manu called on the foundation to collaborate with the executive arm of government to sponsor a bill that will criminalise substance abuse in the state.
Manu said the state government would also consider an executive bill that would facilitate the establishment of a rehabilitation centre for victims of drug abuse to enable them live meaningful lives.
He called on youths to resist the temptation of taking to drugs as a solution to their problems.
The deputy governor also urged the private sector to join hands with the government to provide jobs for the youth, to keep them actively engaged.
Earlier, the Assistant State Commander, Operations and Intelligence, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Peter Onche, called on the state government to establish treatment and rehabilitation centre for addicts.
Onche noted that a fully equipped centre with skills acquisition facilities to cater for the victims of substance abuse would help in no small measure in mitigating the effect of the menace.
The NDLEA Taraba command decorated Ishaku with the honour of Anti-Drug Amazon of the state at the occasion.