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State Governments Charge to Prioritize Fight Against Substance Abuse

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State Governments Charge to Prioritize Fight Against Substance Abuse

By: Michael Mike

Major stakeholders including First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, as well as Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) have charged state governments to prioritise the fight against substance abuse in their strategic work plans for a safe and secure society.

The charge was given at the opening ceremony of a two-day training on Drug Prevention Treatment and Care, DPTC, organized by NDLEA for spouses of state governors in Abuja on Monday.

In her keynote address at the event, Senator Tinubu who was special guest of honour tasked the states to see the war against the drug menace as a collective effort.

The First Lady, who was represented by wife of the Inspector General of Police, Mrs. Elizabeth Egbetokun, commended Marwa and the Nigerian Governors’ Spouses Forum for the initiative. She said: “I commend the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, under the leadership of His Excellency, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd.) CON, OFR, for organizing this vital training and for your ongoing efforts in combatting drug abuse in Nigeria. I equally commend the Chairperson of the Nigeria Governors Spouses’ Forum, Her Excellency, Ambassador (Dr.) Olufolake Abdulrazaq for this significant collaboration.”

She said: “We must recognise that drug abuse is not just a law enforcement issue but a public health crisis that requires a compassionate and multi-faceted response. We must challenge the stigma and discrimination associated with addiction, and foster a culture of empathy, understanding and solidarity towards those struggling with substance use disorders.

“As mothers, we understand the profound impact that drug abuse can have on our children’s lives. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to protect, nurture, and guide them towards a future free from the shackles of addiction. As leaders in your respective states, you wield a unique platform to drive meaningful change. The role of Governors’ spouses in combating drug abuse cannot be overstated. Through advocacy, we can ensure access to prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services for those affected by addiction.

“However, our efforts must not end with this training. We must translate knowledge into action, collaborating with stakeholders such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, other government agencies, civil society organisations, healthcare providers, educators, and students. Together, we can implement evidence-based strategies for prevention, early intervention, and holistic treatment approaches.”

On his part, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, in his remarks commended the resourcefulness of the NDLEA leadership in utilising the Nigerian Governors’ Spouses Forum to cascade the drug war into the grassroots and the community level.

He said: “The issue of drug use is not confined to any region or social strata, but affects every corner of our nation, and propagates crime and other criminalities across the world. The critical role of the attendees in shaping policies and practices in the communities is therefore recognized.”

The NDLEA boss in his remarks, said the devastating effects of substance abuse on public health, the environment and its nexus with the spate of insecurity faced across the country has made it mandatory for a whole-of -society approach to curb the scourge.

He said this has been the focus of the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy campaign emplaced by the NDLEA since 2021.

Marwa, while urging the governors’ wives to take advantage of their positions to mobilise support for drug prevention and treatment in their states, said: “Our Commanders and officers in your states are always available to work with you and the governors; please create the needed access for them so that they can serve you and the society better. Together, we can effect meaningful change and create healthier, safer communities for all. Your collective effort can become the biggest catalyst for the nation to triumph over the illicit drug challenge.”

He revealed that as part of efforts to curb cultivation and production of illicit drugs in Nigeria, the agency is adopting an alternative development plan that will encourage cannabis farmers switch to other licit crops.

He said: “I will also like to draw your attention to the devastating impact activities of drug cartels involved in illicit drug cultivation are causing humanity; that is deforestation, which results in environmental degradation. In search of a lasting solution, we are working to implement an alternative development plan. This will provide cannabis farmers with better options, like switching to other crops. I have recently set up an Alternative Development Unit in my office. We need you to make this reality and our alternative development plan one of your takeaways for the immediate consideration and support of our governors. We will keep you posted as we flesh out the plan on this, this year.”

He added that by joining forces and working collaboratively, “we can turn the tide against drug abuse and build a brighter, healthier future for generations to come. Together we can do it.”

The Minister of Education, Prof Tahir Mamman, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack, emphasised the pivotal role of first ladies in the fight against the scourge of substance abuse.

The minister assured of collaboration between his ministry and NDLEA in combatting substance abuse among students. He said: “The curriculum in schools has been updated to include the added spice of drug issues with the necessary knowledge to avoid drug use. Drug free clubs in federal unity colleges enable children to make healthier choices.”

Other speakers at the opening ceremony include: UNODC Country Representative Dr. Oliver Stolpe; Representative of European Union, Letizia Torretta and the Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, who all spoke in same light, calling for collective and collaborative efforts across society to curb the menace of drug abuse.

State Governments Charge to Prioritize Fight Against Substance Abuse

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Yobe: Emir of Fika charges Journalists on fair reportage

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Yobe: Emir of Fika charges Journalists on fair reportage

By: Yahaya Wakili

His Royal Highness, the Emir of Fika. Chairman Yobe State Council of Chiefs and the National Convener of the Council of the Traditional Leaders of Africa, Alhaji Dr Muhammadu Ibn Abali Muhammad Idrissa, CFR, have implored the journalists in the state to be fair and just in all their reporting.

His Royal Highness disclosed this in a unique receipt organized by the correspondent chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Yobe State, at his palace in Potiskum.

“We must command journalists in Yobe State and in Nigeria in general, and you are a very important part of this society, and you have been playing your role, which sometimes is very ropey and sometimes is not easy, because you have to be critical of government activities.” he said.

“We are happy with you and your remarkable achievements in Yobe State, in particular, about the reporting of government activities on what is happening.

He charged the journalists to redouble their efforts and also said the truth: be equitable, be fair, so that is not always to be praising the government. When you are supposed to say the truth, say the truth, and he also urged them to be very fair and make remarkable achievements in Yobe State in your activities.

His royal father also implores the journalists to be fair and just in all their reporting so that when the government is wrongly saying it, when they are rightly saying it, I think you have been doing that.

“I think you have been doing well. We need to tell the government that we are living on a time bomb, and if it is exploited, we are all going to suffer. We have to appreciate the youth. 65% of the time, wherever you go, you see youth who are on drugs out of frustration.

Speaking earlier, the chairman of the correspondent’s chapel, Alhaji Ahmed I. Abba, ensured His Royal Highness that we are here to serve this state, and we sacrifice all we have for the state and for the palace.

“This palace has been home for us; we really appreciate your royal highness and the members of the palace; this is a unique reception we have never had anywhere; we will forever live to remember the reception we always have in this palace.” The chairman added.

He also assures his royal father that when he needs our support, we are ready to be available for your royal highness. He also sympathizes with the palace with the recent accident that just happened in Fika, as well as the recent accident that just happened in the same schools within the emirate.

Yobe: Emir of Fika charges Journalists on fair reportage

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government of Nigeria has commiserated with the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania over the passing of former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

The former President died on Thursday. He would be remembered as
an African Elder Statesman, who was an astute and influential politician that contributed significantly to laying the foundation for Tanzania’s economic development.

A statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Francisca Omayuli on Friday said: “Nigeria stands with Tanzania in this period of grief. May the soul of the departed former President rest in peace and may God grant the bereaved family, the Government and the good people of the United Republic of Tanzania the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

By: Ladi Dapson

The Borno state government has charged the youths to take the lead in peace building,conflicts management and learn how to be tolerant in respective of faiths and ethicity coloration.

The State Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof Usman Tar made this known during an inaugurating of 100 awardees of yoths as Peace Advocates in Borno State held in Maiduguri.

He urged the youths to take the advantages of their population in Nigeria just like the way China took the advantage of their population and bring some innovation to boast their economy.

“Today we inaugurating the young peace Ambassadors that we will be going into the society tricking down the capacity of peace building and tolerance that we have thought them.

“The outcome of this excise is that we now have critical young mind that will serve as ambassadors of peace go out and target specific community as well as teach the art of peace, conflict resolution, conflict management, peace building, and diplomacy.

“So that the society will be more tolerant, more engaging and society will learn to leave side by side with people of all faiths and tendency,”he said.

Earlier, the Founder of Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment, Amb. Ahmed Shehu said youths are critical stakeholders in peace processes, urging the people in the community to identify the youths in their community and give them the necessary support.

“As a civil society, we thought we have to play our role towards ensuring we have a stable society.

“What we observed in these efforts is that a critical element is missing. This is the youth groups and we thought why can’t we come up with an initiative where we build the capacity of the youth and make them youth advocates and unleash them to the society for peacebuilding.

“We carefully selected young people and voices across all sectors, from the media, CSOs and academia. Our dream is you would go back to the community and change the narratives,”Ahmed said.

He was awarded for a responsible media practice and promoting of a culture of peace.

One of recipients of the Peace Advocate Award and Social Media Influencer, Aliyu Mohammed Tong applauded the Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment and partners for finding them worthy of this award after a series of trainings and community engagements.

“As we accepted the award we equally took it as a challenge to positively make an impact in our various communities by stepping down the knowledge we gained on reintegration and sustainable peace.”Aliyu thanked.

Some of the recipients include Mohammed Usman, General Manager of Al-Ansar Radio; Usaman Mohammed, Report with Yerwa Express News; Umaru Kirawa, Correspondent of Newscentral Africa, Zainab Yetunde Adam, Reporter with NTA amongst.

The project was funded by the British Council in partnership with the Borno State Ministry for information and Internal Security and implemented by Peace Ambassadors Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment.

Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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