We will continue to tackle drug abuse, trafficking in Anambra ― NDLEA
The Anambra State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has lauded Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state for his dogged and relentless fight against drug and substance abuse coupled with various initiatives in place for COVID19 prevention.
The commendations came on the occasion of this year’s United Nations celebration of International Day Against Illicit Drug Abuse and Trafficking at the command headquarters Awka, over the weekend, with the theme; International Day Against Illicit Drug Abuse is “Better Knowledge For Better Care.”
NDLEA state commander in Anambra Mr. Mohammed Musbau Idris said Governor Obiano’s logistic and moral support to the agency could not be overemphasized and that the governor was equally committed to making the state free from drug abuse, COVID-19 as well as other security challenges.
The NDLEA boss also expressed profound gratitude to the governor for the provision of land where a functional rehabilitation facility would be built, noting that when constructed, the facility would assist in no small measures to get those with drug problems rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society.
He however stated that this year’s commemoration of International Day Against Drug Abuse calls to mind that the well-being of human society was being threatened by drug abuse and its attendant problems. He said lives were being destroyed as young adults metamorphosed into criminals.
According to him, “It is sad to note that the incidences of drug abuse and trafficking are still posing a great danger to our society. The most disturbing aspect is the active involvement of the youths in the consumption of these chemical substances.”
Idris, who observed that teenagers and young adults were most vulnerable to substance abuse, disclosed further that the agency was tackling drug problems through the supply reduction, demand reduction and prosecutions; adding that between January and June 2020, 87 suspects were arrested with a seizure of 797.647kg of different drugs. 48 cases were filed at Federal High Court and 20 convictions were recorded.
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He added that one of the strategies the agency had deployed to achieve a drug-free society was quiz competitions for secondary school students in Anambra state. He said the quiz competition was a collaboration between the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Lady Victoria Onyido while the major sponsor is His Royal Highness Igwe Alexander Onyido of Ogidi kingdom in Idemili-North local government area of Anambra state.
Idris, therefore, advised, “It is imperative to stress that for us to achieve a drug-free society, drug abuse prevention activities should be the focal point from federal, state, and local government levels. Nongovernmental organizations should also join by getting involved in activities that are directed at prevention and public enlightenment for people to know more about drugs and its effects so that we can prevent our young ones from initiating drug use habit.”
The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Ogochukwu Okpala, who also functions as the Chairman of the Anambra State Drug Control Committee, said the theme of this year’s occasion was well thought out, noting that if people were well informed about the aftermaths of drug abuse, they would not indulge in it.
Okpala emphasized that if energy was put to deal with the pandemic of substance abuse like the COVID-19 pandemic, it would greatly improve on the well-being of the larger society. He said government also understood the need to have a drug-free society which according to him was the reason the state government was assisting the agency in its campaign against drug abuse.
The commissioner stated that the rehab center was one of the assistance of the present state government to the NDLEA in Anambra State even as he explained that drug and substance abuse were inimical and detrimental to human health. He said COVID-19 was real and drug abuse was also real; that prevention was better than cure.
Commissioner for Basic Education Prof. Kate Azuka Omenugha who was represented on the occasion by the Director of Schools, Lady Vera Ogbalu, underscored the fact that NDLEA had created awareness on the dangers of drug abuse and that the Ministry of Basic Education had equally collaborated with the agency to instill the culture of discipline and moral rectitude amongst youths. She also admonished students to be in the vanguard of discouraging drug and substance abuse.
Royal father of the occasion, who is also the Chief Sponsor of the NDLEA quiz competition for secondary schools in Anambra State, His Royal Highness Igwe Alexander Onyido of Ogidi land in Idemili-North council area, said drug abuse was a sin against man and God and therefore suggested that it was time governments began to check proliferation of beer parlors to curtail alcohol abuse and other substance abuse.
The commemoration of the day also featured giving of price to the best three secondary schools who were outstanding in the Lady Victoria Onyido Quiz Competitions for secondary schools in Anambra state.