The Northern Governors’ Wives Forum (NGWF) has raised concerns over the high rate of drug abuse in Nigeria.
It promised to heighten the advocacy and sensitisation campaign against drug abuse in the country.
Chairperson of the forum and wife of Kaduna State governor, Mrs Hadiza El-Rufai, made the pledge in Abuja shortly after she was unanimously elected by members of the forum on Monday.
While cautioning against the consequences of drug abuse and addiction in society, she said the forum would keep doing its best to prevent the menace.
“We need to educate people and one of the most important things is to reduce the stigma that people have because the stigma prevents people from coming out to look for help.
“So, we should reduce the stigma and remember it is an illness,” she said.
El-Rufai further expressed concerns over incessant kidnappings in the country and condemned the payment of ransom as a solution.
She said; “kidnapping is a very big problem that has been worrying all of us and I am sure every Nigerian is worried about this issue.
“It is really a sad thing if a child gets kidnapped but at the same time, the payment of ransom is not the solution to the problem.
“So, I think that the government should not pay ransom to kidnappers but we are parents and we know about emotions; so, I can’t blame parents for going out to source funds to pay so that their children would be brought back.
“We know what it means but that is a sad situation that we have found ourselves in but we have to be strong as the government cannot continue to pay a ransom.
“If you pay, you are just encouraging these people to continue which is what has happened in Nigeria.
“Before, when they kidnap, they ask for N5 million or N10 million but now they are asking for N500 million and when will it end”, she said.
How Mrs El-Rufai emerged chairperson
Daily Trust reports that Mrs El-Rufai emerged Chairperson of NGWF following the election of new executive members of the forum.
She was unanimously elected for a two-year tenure by members of the forum, taking over from Dr Amina Bello, wife of Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger.
Dr Olufolake Abdulrazaq (Kwara) was elected the Vice-Chairperson while Mrs Anna Ishaku (Taraba) got elected as Secretary of the forum and Hajiya Mariya Tambuwal (Sokoto), Welfare Officer.
Others are Hajiya Asma’u Yahaya (Gombe), Treasurer and Mrs Regina Lalong (Plateau) Public Relations Officer.