• Bhang, codeine and miraa are among the most abused drugs in the region.
• The region's proximity to Somalia, the home to the Shabaab terror group, has remained a challenge.
Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi on Tuesday urged Muslim clerics to take the lead in the fight against terrorism and drug abuse.
Bhang, codeine and miraa are among the most abused drugs in the region and the biggest contributors to social ills bedevilling society, including rape, murder and defilement.
The region's proximity to Somalia, the home to the Shabaab terror group, has remained a challenge. The militants easily cross the porous border to recruit the youth from the region. Abdi said the problems derail development.
He spoke during a meeting with top religious leaders. Those present included Supreme Council of Kenya chairperson Adan Yunis and Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya chairperson Abdi Farah.
"You are the leaders who the faithful not only listen to but also trust. I want to appeal to you to fully use this God-given opportunity to change our county for the better by improving morals in society,” the county chief said.
He urged them to work closely with the county and national governments in eradicating drug abuse and radicalisation.
Abdi also urged parents to closely monitor their children, especially those who are still in school, cautioning that their chances of being lured into terrorism is real.
“I urge my fellow parents to spend their precious time with their children. Parenting is not a one-day exercise but a full-time job. Let's play our responsibilities as required by God,” he said.
"Holiday comes with a lot of things. It is during such times that some of them find themselves in bad company, whose sole intention is to ruin them."
Local activists have previously blamed parents for failing to inculcate good morals and instil discipline in their children.
Following requests by the clerics, Abdi agreed to secure and fence cemeteries and plan for allocation of more burial sites. He will also ensure better sanitation for mosques and religious institutions and have quarterly meetings with the leaders.
(Edited by F'Orieny)