From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Kano state government has spent N128 million to renovate and expand the Kiru Reformatory home, in Kiru local government area of the state.
According the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the project entailed the construction of a female section in addition to the male correctional and hostel facilities in the reformatory.
The governor announced this during the graduation of 200 inmates of the Reformatory during the weekend saying the move was part of multidimensional approach towards addressing the menace of drug abuse in the state.
He noted that before his assumption of office, the institute, which was hitherto managed by consultants, had deteriorated significantly and suspended its activities indefinitely.
“We decided to put money to renovate it and to provide the female section, having noticed that females too had formed the habit of drug abuse, which does not augur well for their wellbeing and for societal development”, the governor maintained.
Dr. Ganduje noted that the institute was presently managed by trained social welfare officers with the support of NDLEA, the Ministry of Health and the state Hisbah Command, assuring that it was now poised to provide more efficient services including ethical re-orientation, counseling and skills training.
According to him, “The idea of rehabilitating the drug dependent youth by this administration was born out of the avowed commitment to address one of the most threatening challenges facing our society i.e the menace of drug abuse”.
Gov. Ganduje added:”This is predicated on the fact that some emanating trends and information obtainable from certain sources are negatively placing our dear state at an unenviable position which is depicting Kano as one having the highest rate of drug abuse in the country”.
He therefore urged the out-going inmates to make the best use of the training they acquired and announced a donation of N40, 000 capital to each of them, to assist them to engage in productive ventures.
The chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Eradication of Drug Abuse, Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd.), represented by Col. Yakubu Bako (Rtd), who noted that some of the inmates of the reformatory were orphans, maintained that the fact that their parents were not alive should not be a reason for them to become reckless.
“I was brought to Kano as a young boy without parents, in the 1960s. I protected my dignity and enrolled in the Army. I became military administrator of Akwa Ibom state. If I had taken to drugs, I would not have had the opportunity to become a governor”, he stressed.
On his part, the state Commandant of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Dr. Ibrahim Abdul said although there statistics alleging that Kano had the highest number of drug addicts in the country, such figures were not scientific and were at variance with the reality on the ground.
“I can tell you that I personally know that such statistics are not correct. The government of Kano state is doing its best and so far, we have supported the government to do quite a number of things aimed at curtailing drug abuse. Currently, the governor has directed for technical assessment of the dilapidated correctional facility at our headquarters and I am sure work on this will start soon. This is quite commendable”, he stated.
Speaking on behalf of the inmates, Hawwa Hafiz and Mubarak Yusuf Adam thanked the state government for rescuing them and promised to be good citizens. They also appealed to the state government to provide them with jobs and assist those of them willing to continue with their education.