Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
The Borno State government says that there are over 1,000 illegal routes through which dangerous drugs are smuggled in to the state, a situation which has led to a high utilization of drugs by youths.
This, the government reasoned, has contributed to the growth of terrorism in the region.
The state attorney general and commissioner of justice, Kaka Shehu Lawan, stated this on Tuesday while making public the achievements of Borno state drug abuse control committee.
Lawan, who is also the chairman of the committee, said the challenge for the state government is that most of these routes are unknown, making it difficult to rid the state of illicit drugs.
Notwithstanding, he said that his committee has done so much with the available information at its disposal to curb the activities of illegal drug dealers and that a total of 6,089.575kg of drugs have been seized.
These includes 4,780.565 kg of Cannabis, 979,010 kg of psychotropic substances and 330.000 kg of Cocaine.
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In addition, about 61 suspects have been arrested, with 13 charged to court and convicted to various jail terms.
“Through its intelligence gathering and operations sub-committees carried out raids in areas identified as black spots within the Maiduguri metropolis where such illicit drugs are commonly dispensed and consumed. The raids accounted for several arrests as well as seizures of drugs from the suspects,” the commissioner said.
He lamented that drug abuse partly accounts for the emergence of terrorist activities in the state, but added setting up the committee was part of efforts introduced by the state governor, Kashim Shettima, to restore the state on the path of peace, and socio-economic development.
Lawan added that drug dealers and traffickers are dynamic and always evolving new strategies to beat security checks, but that government is also devising information management strategies to track and arrest them.