Malam Ibrahim Yusuf, Executive Director of a Kaduna-based Non Governmental Organization, Triumphant Youth Foundation, has called for the establishment of a Task Force on Drugs in Gombe State to address the issue of drug and substance abuse.
Yusuf made the suggestion Thursday in Gombe as a Guest Speaker at the unveiling of a Programme on women development and empowerment, initiated by a Gombe-based organisation, Gombe Women Ambassadors (GOWA).
He said the measure was necessary as the state was leading drug abuse in the North-Eastern part of the country, with 13 per cent, which, he said, was the highest.
According to him, 65 per cent of school-aged children in Gombe state are drug addicts, which affects their performances in school.
He also urged the state government to establish rehabilitation centers across the three senatorial districts in the state, as well as offices in every community for counseling of drug addicts.
According to him, the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has the best psychologists, and that they need the support of governments at all levels to make the organization functional.
Also speaking at the event, Hajiya Zariyatu Abubakar, the Executive Director of another organisation, WILDAN Care Foundation, harped on the need for free and compulsory education for all girl children in the state.
She said a recent study by UNICEF revealed that over 600,000 children were out of school in Gombe,and out of the number, 500,000 were girls.
She also called on the government to employ more female teachers that would serve as role models to the girl-child.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Gombe Women Ambassadors unveiled sustainable women development programmes, focusing attention on three areas namely; Maternal/Child Health,Education Women Empowerment/Drug Abuse.
Edited by Philip Dzeremo