Kaduna- The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Kaduna says it is working with the state government to propose legislation on the ban on the sale of illicit substances, including 'Ogogoro'.
The Commandant of the NDLEA, Mohammed Jibrin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kaduna that the agency would soon send its input into on a bill to the state house of assembly.
Jibrin said the ban became necessary in view of the fact that sale of illicit alcohol in the state had increased.
The commander also said that a local brew, known as `Gadegi', mostly consumed by commercial motorcyclists, buses and taxi drivers, would also be banned.
``Goscolo (Ogogoro) has been a major substance of abuse for years in Plateau and Kano. You have similar kind of drink called
gadegi, it is like harmless tea but they saturate it with a lot of intoxicants. It is intoxicating and dangerous to health.
`` The goscolo, like alcohol, has spread to Sabon Tasha area because the Plateau Government in 2007 enacted a law against its sale.
``So the sellers have moved out of Plateau to the surrounding states, where they can easily get their customers.
``The state government will soon chase them out once that law is out’’
According to Jibrin, the trade has persisted because there are no existing laws banning the sale and consumption of substances, including Ogogoro, Gadegi, solution, petrol, `Ota-piapia' and cough syrup.
``There are no laws against the sale or consumption of the drink. So even if you arrest somebody for abusing such substances,
there is not much you can do.
`` So what we do is to encourage state governments to enact an edict to control the abuse of these local substances within the states.
`` Nationally we don’t have laws against them, yet they are the major threats to our youths.
`` The NDLEA is working in conjunction with the state Ministry of Justice to prepare a bill to be sent to the state House of Assembly.
``Once that is done, laws would come against all those substances that are identified and would be checked in the state.''
On rehabilitation of drug addicts, Jibrin said the agency's rehabilitation centre in Zaria is running counselling and skills
acquisition training for victims to enable them live a normal life.
`` They constitute the major nuisance in the society, they are the ones that are used for political thuggery, violence and causing most of the mayhem.’’
The commandant called on the public to assist the agency in its campaign on the effects of drug abuse and trafficking.
He also urged the public to volunteer information to the agency on drug dealers, users and traffickers, assuring that such
information would be treated with utmost confidentiality.