By Bukar Bolori
Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje has expressed his displeasure and that of the people of his state over the move to legalise cannabis sativa (popularly called Indian hemp or Igbo) in the country, vowing that no lawmaker from the state will support such bid in the National Assembly.
Governor Ganduje made the declaration when the Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa led top officials of the agency on a courtesy visit to him as part of his ongoing War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy visit to the state.
In his remarks, Marwa had urged the governor not to support any bid to legalise cannabis sativa by some elected officials in the country, informing the Kano governor that the NDLEA is currently doing so much to cut availability and accessibility to illicit drugs across the Nigeria.
He noted that any attempt to legalise the illicit substance will be a setback to the progress made so far.
Marwa said: “With over 8, 634 arrests; 2,776,000 kilograms of drugs worth over N100billion seized; 1,630 convictions; 3,232 cases in court and over 4,000 drug users counselled and rehabilitated between January and now, we are already making substantial progress in our drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts.
“We are however convinced that the ongoing attempts by some of our elected officials to legalise cannabis which is being abused by over 10.6 million Nigerians will be a draw back for the achievements so far. This is why I want to implore Your Excellency and Kano state not to support the attempt to legalise cannabis.”
Marwa further used the occasion to warn landlords against accommodating drug traffickers in their houses because NDLEA would not hesitate to seek forfeiture of any property used to store illicit drugs when the offenders are caught.
He commended the governor for making drug test a prerequisite for public officials and those aspiring into public office in the state, while pleading with the governor to support NDLEA with 25 hectatres of land to build barracks in the state and a property that will house a zonal command office of the agency in Kano.
In his response, Ganduje said Gen. Marwa is very important to Kano and Nigeria because of the significance of his current assignment, which is equally key to winning the battle against insecurity in the country.
Ganduje while granting the requests for land and accommodation for a zonal command, assured his guest that beside the stand of Kano state government against drug abuse and trafficking, the predominant religion in the state, Islam is against the twin evils of drug abuse and trafficking.
The governor, while reminding his guest that Kano has the highest number of federal lawmakers in the National Assembly, said that none of them will support any attempt to legalise cannabis.