Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal has identified drug trafficking and the abuse of substances as the euphoric catalysts of non-state actors who unleash terror and mayhem on hapless citizens in the country.
The Governor stated this on Saturday when he received the Sheikh Ahmed Gumi-led Bandits Repentance Initiative (S-GULBAR Initiative) in Sokoto.
According to Gov. Tambuwal, “we should also be mindful of the role that drug abuse play in fueling the committing of these vices,” while narrating a story he was told by a counterpart of his in one of the Northern.States.
“A counterpart of mine, a serving governor once narrated to me an incidence. He told me that he once visited a hamlet and wanted to patronize local women coming back from the market where they had gone to hawk dairy products and stuff.
When he called out on them, one of them ran away. He asked what was the problem and was told that she wasn’t carrying dairy products in her calabashes but drugs. My colleague told me that much of the drugs used by the kidnappers and violent marauders get to them in this way.
“For this reason, we must act to overcome this menace of drug trafficking and drug abuse. Otherwise, we will only end up killing the snake without severing its head,” he offered.
Emphasizing that Islam is a religion of peace, the governor said knowing this and propagating it, “will assist us all in salvaging our brethren who are neck deep in this unfortunate trade of kidnapping, Boko Haram and wanton destruction of lives and property.”
He observed that: “Had there been adequate upbringing of Muslims on the fear of God and the responsibilities of Muslims on their fellow Muslims, much of these ugly situations would not have arise.
He commended the S-GULBAR Initiative for its well conceived and articulated vision of salvaging budding talents being wasted as terrorists in the North and pledged to assist it.
“This noble mission that you have embarked upon is timely, commendable and is what we as state governments should support so as to ensure that peace and prosperity return to our domains,” he added.
Recalling the golden era of Islamic excellence “when, according to one of the Sultans of Sokoto a woman could trek from Sokoto up to Cameroun without being accosted or molested by anyone,” Tambuwal further added that: “The subterranean moves by some shadow parties to trivialize these issues and turn them into ethnic and religious ones will not help us at all as a nation.
“The truth of the matter is that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes have injuriously wronged all manner of people- those of their ethnicity, tribes, religion and all manner of affiliations. They do not select who their victims should be. They are just bunch of wayward characters who bonded themselves into groups and camps to carry out their nefarious activities,” he observed.
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of S-GULBAR Initiative, Sheikh Gumi, noted that if the situation of insecurity in the Northern part of Nigeria is “left unchecked and leaders and followers are not united, it won’t augur well for the region and the country; and, “will engender chaos and disunity.”
“This is why we decided to come and meet ‘the physicians’ who have the requisite prescriptions on how to tackle this malady.,” the Islamic scholar, who later held a closed door meeting with Gov. Tambuwal, that lasted for more one and half an hour at the Presidential Lodge of Government House, Sokoto, said.
According to him, “God willing, if we all cooperate in our different ways and capacities, we shall overcome these problems. That is why we are here.”
The group also met separately with the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar at his palace
We will also visit the Sultan and discuss with him in order to get his perspective on how to resolve this matter,” the Islamic scholar said.