From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Chika Malami have commended the 19 northern governors’ wives for their various youth initiatives and campaigns against vices and drug abuse in the region.
They stated this while speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the Sports and recreation center in Birnin Kebbi organised by the Wives of Northern Governors’ Forums (WNGF) hosted by the First Lady of Kebbi, Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, as part of their quarterly meeting activities.
Bagudu, while addressing the Forum, explained that, they have been working hard to support their husbands at the various levels despite many odds..
According to him, “ let me start by thanking all those who have been able to respond to the invitation Her Excellency to attend this event which is part of the series of the event that marks the visit of the Northern Governors’ Forum for their quarterly meeting in Birnin Kebbi. On behalf of the Kebbi State government, we welcome them once small, thank them for what they have been doing in their respective states and how they have been supporting each other which manifested today in their visit since yesterday and in their coming down to support Her Excellency in their numerous of the social development she has brought to Kebbi state. And we thank all of them.
“Of course, successes like this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of others. And the AGF has spoken a lot about some of these and we appreciate him because, in Kebbi State, we are unique and blessed in AGF for being a good representation of the state at the Federal Executive Council.
“When I call him, he told the Her Excellency had invited him and that is to tell us how serious the AGF has taken any event in the state for the progress of the state. In addition, he is the supervising Minister of the NDLEA. Of course, the wives of the Governors who are here, we have been relating in different ways, all of them are uniquely related to Kebbi state. We thank them. I was in Ekiti state about two months ago for the election in Ekiti state and I was hosted by the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and his wife. We appreciated all the governors’ wives who are here.
“And more importantly, as I said, these outstanding women have been mobilizing, supporting, using the best of endeavour to mobilize Nigerian’s women, Nigeria populace so that we do more better quickly. That they are even moving around at this period when there are all kind of suggestions that could discourage somebody shows how resilient they are showing that nothing can hold us back and we must appreciate all of them.
“Her Excellency, my wife, Dr Zainab Bagudu has been outstanding in the number of her initiatives she has energetically driving in Kebbi state which we have seen its manifestation. But in her magnanimity in her remarks, acknowledged the wife of the former governor, Saadu Nasamu Dakingari and indeed, himself, it was that administration that started it. But the government is continuous, you do your bit and add value. We thank her for being magnanimous, we thank her for being mobilizing government to spend so much money to ensure that this center is put to use. More importantly, we thank her for her initiative that this center is started is being started in conducive and sustaining way so that our youths and other community’s members can help in stand the test of time. We thank the leadership of the state, the drug control committee, and also for mobilizing others particularly AIG Ambursa, our traditional rulers, NGOs, and security agencies who have been very supportive and very vigilant.
“The drug challenge is not a local challenge, it is a national challenge an international challenge. We need cooperation, we need mutual support and programme like this which bring all of us together. We have seen sports people, taekwondo who are supporting, and entertainment groups supporting. But all these show us that we all need to queue in the way we could so that we can record success in ensuring that our society remain drug free as best as we could”, he said.
Earlier in his remarks, Attorney General Malami described the action of the WNGF as best weapon meant to protect youths from the darkness and bring them to light in the society.
He said: “ the efforts of the Kebbi State governor were indeed consolidated by his wife, Dr Zainab Bagudu and that has been testified to internationally by the invitation extended to her by the UN office on drugs and crimes in Geneva where she attended as the panellists among other. Not only to provide international support, but they acknowledged what the government has been doing against drug abused, but not only that, they acknowledged her exceptional efforts against drug abuse.
“Today, we are here to consolidate the fight, consolidate what she has been doing and add an additional feather to the support on what the government of Kebbi state has been doing in relating to the fight against drug abuse in the state.
“Today’s programme is about the fight against darkness, darkness about the usage of the drug abuse in the state. It is indeed a gathering of people to fight drug abuse, reducing its velocity, which has been adjudged to be 11 to 15 per cent in the state. What she has done today, by way of bringing us together, putting sports and recreation centre, all targeted at providing a conducive atmosphere for the participation of the youth in a positive way is highly commendable.
“Our presence here today is indeed a testimony that what the governor has been doing as related to drug abuse is indeed consolidated and not only consolidated, but we are reaping the fruits of what the governor has done and indeed, his wife and the entire households of Dr Zainab Bagudu are doing.
“Let me on behalf of myself as the supervising Minister of NDLEA, the federal government acknowledged and appreciated Dr Zainab Bagudu for being here today, championing the campaign against drug abused so that at the end of the day, drug abused in the Nigeria would be addressed.
In her remarks, Kebbi First Lady Bagudu decried that the drug menace was a major source of concern to themselves and their husbands and stressed that part of the ways the forum adopted in tackling the menace included counselling, keeping youths occupied through sports and recreational activities to become useful members in the society.
The Chairperson of the Northern Governors’ Wives’ Forum, Architect Hadiza Isma Elrufai, in her remarks, said that the forum holds periodic meetings to discuss issues of common interests irrespective of party affiliation, and stressed that they were coming together to find plausible solutions to the common problems facing them, especially drugs.