A coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) has called on Gombe State Government to inaugurate its drug rehabilitation centre.
Concise News understands that the request was made to reduce deaths and hopelessness among victims of drug abuse in the state.
Mr Ibrahim Yusuf, the Lead Convener of the coalition under the auspices of Drug-Free Arewa Movement (DFAM), made the call on Wednesday in Gombe.
He spoke during a rally to mark the “Arewa Day of Action” against social anathema, drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in northern Nigeria.
Yusuf said that it was imperative for the state government to inaugurate the drug rehabilitation centre for use in the state.
According to him, so many youths in the state are dying from substance and drug abuse, and records have shown that every hour, a teenager is being introduced to illicit drugs.
“We have a rehabilitation centre in Gombe, so we want the government to open it for use. It is a matter of urgency because our youths are dying from drugs.
“It is painful to see our youths wasting away for drugs and substance abuse. These are our future leaders and we demand a functional rehabilitation centre to bring back our youths from drugs.
“Many of the addicts want to leave drugs but the treatment is expensive.
“That is why we are calling on government to assist them to win the war against social anathema, drug abuse and trafficking.
“If the centre is inaugurated, the skills acquisition unit can be training them, while rehabilitation is ongoing to bring the victims back to the society.
“If we take the issue of drug abuse with a kid’s glove in Gombe, we may not have a crime-free future as a people and posterity will ask us about this,” he said.
He called for legislation to establish a Bureau for Substance Abuse in the state to research and get information from community to state levels to address the menace.