By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed worry over growing challenge of drug abuse in the country.
The President, according to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his Spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, has therefore instructed law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with all those who import, distribute and sell illicit drugs in the country.
Speaking at an interactive meeting with religious leaders in Kano yesterday in the course of his two-day State visit, the President strongly assured the religious leaders that his administration was determined to do something urgent to deal with the narcotics challenge facing the country.
“The Customs is already doing a good job and I’m happy that I got someone who is efficient, strong and trusted to lead it in the person of Hameed Ali, a former governor of Kaduna State.
‘‘I have charged them and other law enforcement agencies to go after those trafficking in illicit drugs that are causing much harm especially among young people,” he said.
Buhari also assured the religious leaders that the war against corruption will be prosecuted with the highest regards to due process and respect for human rights.
He asked Nigerians to be patient on this issue, saying that as an elected President he was bound to follow the constitution.
“When I came in uniform as military Head of State, we locked every suspect in Kirikiri prisons until they proved that they were not guilty.
‘‘Under the constitution, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That is the constitution and we will abide by it,” he stressed.
Reaffirming his strong support for the proposed anti-corruption courts, the President said to strengthen judicial integrity and the rule of law, such courts must be manned by ‘‘incorruptible judges.’’
The President used the occasion to counsel leaders to rise to the challenge of the country’s growing youth population.
“Leaders at every level must pay attention to this. We must give everything we have including education, vocational skills and training for our large youth population so that they can grow to be responsible citizens,’’ he said.
On the provision of infrastructure, the President restated that his administration will ensure increased investment in infrastructure across the country to stimulate the economy and job creation.
He praised the Chinese government for proving the funds for some ongoing projects in the country including railways, roads and the Mambilla hydro-power project.
The President welcomed the suggestion from some of the religious leaders for the setting up of a religious advisory committee made up of Muslim and Christian leaders to meet periodically to advise the government.