By Gabriel Elozino,
The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the Delta State Government are set to inaugurate 62 Drug Free Clubs in public secondary schools across the state to tackle cases of rising drug abuse in the state.
The Delta State Commander of NDLEA, Mr Tunde John disclosed this on Wednesday when he led top officers of the agency to a courtesy visit to the Ovie of Ughelli, HRM Wilson Ojarkovo, Oharisi III and community leaders in the Kingdom.
He explained that the Drug-Free Clubs would be inaugurated by the State Drug Control Committee, which according to him comprises all security and law enforcement agencies in the state, with a mission to checkmate drug abuse among children and teenagers.
He said, “we are inaugurating these clubs in our secondary schools and the reason being that we want to catch them young, we need to start sensitizing them about the dangers of drug abuse and let them understand that it can mar their future if they engage in it.
“We already have trained teachers that would serve as counsellors to counsel these children and enlighten them on the negative impacts of drug abuse.”
According to him the issue of drug abuse is becoming increasingly worrisome not just in the country but across the globe and requires all arms to be on deck to tackle the menace.
He said the visit was part of a continuous move to seek the collaboration of the communities with the agency in its fight to win the drug war in the country, adding that Delta state currently ranks number one in the entire country in terms of drug abuse.
“We are here to seek collaboration with the traditional ruler and community leaders because they are critical stakeholders in our fight against drug abuse. We have launched a program we call War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) and it is important to sensitize the people,” he stated.
In his response, the Ughelli monarch, His Royal Majesty, Wilson Ojarkovo, Oharisi III, the Ovie of Ughelli thanked the State Commander of NDLEA for the visit and promised to continue to mobilize his Chiefs and subjects to give the agency the needed support to succeed.
He pointed out that drug abuse has been a personal concern to himself and the kingdom and he is ready to partner with anyone that will help tackle the menace.
He however, advised the agency to be wary of false information by the public and their informants regarding offenders in order not to clamp down on innocent citizens, adding that they should verify and carry out proper investigations before effecting arrest.
“People can misuse opportunities or try to capitalize on them and give false information about somebody that is their enemy or somebody that they are angry with and at the end of the day, innocent people are arrested. We have had a series of cases like that,” he said.
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