Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Kwankwaso Insists On Drug Market Shutdown

Kano — Kano State governor, Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, has vowed not to reverse government's recent resolve to evict patent medicine dealers in Abubakar Rimi market at Sabon Gari area of the metropolis.

In a statement by Kwankwaso's spokesman Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye, Kwankwaso said "the action is in full support of initiatives by NAFDAC to crackdown on all unauthorized persons from sale of drugs in the wrong places".

At a meeting with Patent Medicine Dealers, top security officials at the state government house, the governor maintained that NAFDAC raised a committee in the state in order to arrest illegal sale of drugs.

Kwankwaso said "NAFDAC's committee has already confiscated and destroyed fake and adulterated drugs worth over N600 million recently and has also discovered and sealed warehouses containing similar medicines in Kano."

"No government can stop the sale of drugs, we are not fighting anybody. But what we are saying is that anyone who wants to sell drugs must abide by the rules. You can open a chemist or a mall to sell drugs but let it be duly approved by law in accordance with professional standards", he said.

The governor kicked against the practice of selling drugs in the open in Sabon Gari market like vegetables or grains, saying it is unacceptable and has given room for circulation of substandard, fake and expired drugs, which he said, are inimical to public health.

Kwankwaso also lambasted those he said were giving ethnic and religious angles to the drug market closure, arguing that the government's policy was not targeted at any ethnic community.

He further complained that "empirical statistics have shown that Kano ranked number one in drug abuse in the country", and called on public members "to cooperate with NAFDAC and the government to tackle the menace of unauthorized drug retail and drug abuse".

The Eze Ndigbo in Kano, Chief Boniface Ibekwe, who pledged the support of Igbo traders in Kano said the meeting will "bridge the communication gap between government and patent medicine dealers in the state."

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