INSECURITY: United Nations Begins Stakeholder Workshop In Zamfara

The United Nations has commenced a stakeholder workshop on insecurity, crime, and drug abuse in Zamfara State.

The workshop, organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Nigeria Country Office, began Monday at the Government House in Gusau.

A statement by the spokesperson for the Zamfara Governor, Sulaiman Bala Idris, disclosed that the workshop is a UN Assessment and Programming Mission to respond to insecurity and drug abuse challenges.

He added that the United Nations team, led by Oliver Stolpe, the Country Representative of the UNODC, will engage with key stakeholders in various sectors over three days.

The statement read in parts: “In a high-level stakeholder engagement today in Gusau, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized a three-day workshop on insecurity.

“The workshop provides stakeholders and the visiting United Nations team with a platform for collectively analyzing the scope, manifestations, drivers, and trends of insecurity, crime, and drug abuse in Zamfara State.

“The workshop further shares good practices and approaches from within and beyond Nigeria in tackling these challenges to develop a joint program of action.”

In his opening remarks, Governor Lawal emphasized that the strong team of resourceful individuals from the United Nations demonstrates a collective commitment to addressing the challenges facing Zamfara, including banditry, associated crimes, and their connection with drug abuse.

He said: “I recently visited the UN to solicit intervention in addressing some of the pressing challenges we are facing, where I had constructive engagements with Her Excellency Amina J. Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and leadership of many of its agencies, including the head of Drug and Crime Office.

“This seminar, therefore, is a testimony of the UN’s proactive desire to fulfill the promises to help us understand more and how to address the challenges facing us. We are grateful.

“For over a decade, Zamfara has battled with these problems that undermine the safety and well-being of our people and impede socio-economic development. My administration, therefore, takes this visit and workshop very seriously, as the outcome will inform our future policy decisions and strategies for combating these challenges.

“I am delighted to note that a wide range of issues will be discussed during the workshop.

“These include the manifestations and root causes of insecurity and crime in the state, such as kidnapping, cattle rustling, illegal mining, and inter-communal violence; the role of various state security actors and traditional institutions in combating the problems; UN support to strengthen the criminal justice response to organized crime and community-based crime prevention.

“The scope, trends, and societal implications of drug abuse in Zamfara State and good practices in drug use prevention, treatment, and care, among other important issues, are slated for discussion at this meeting.

“I urge all participants to use this opportunity and engage actively to benefit from the workshop proceedings. You should listen, learn, and contribute constructively.

“I hope that, in the end, all the participants will be better off for the good of our communities and state. As I stated, the insights and recommendations generated here will be crucial in shaping our strategies and actions in dealing with the problems that confront us.”

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