NDLEA, Partners Anambra NYCN, Other Stakeholders on Advocacy Against Drug Abuse

As part of efforts to stem the tide of drug abuse especially among young people, the Anambra State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA on Friday took its advocacy efforts to youths of Anambra State as well as other relevant stakeholders.

The advocacy event held in Awka, was tagged a one-day Stakeholders strategic advocacy/ Seminar on drug abuse: methamphetamine an was put together by the NDLEA in partnership with Advocates for Global Peace Forum International.

It brought together as its participants, epresentatives of youth groups from the 21 Local Government Areas of the State under the aegis of National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, as well as other relevant government and private support agencies and bodies.

Speaking at the event, the State NDLEA Commander, Mr Daniel Onyeisi explained that the event is in line with the mandate given to him upon assumption of office to clean up state of illicit drugs and reduce cases of drug abuse.

According to him, to achieve the mandate, he had crafted a plan to get down to the grassroots and ensure that from there, the clean-up activity can begin.

“Today, we decided to bring the youths who are most susceptible to drug abuse, from the local areas. At this event, we have representatives of youth groups deliberating with us on how we can get down to the communities, the villages, the wards, the schools and make sure this message is loud and effective-for youths to shun drug abuse.

“The essence is to bring everybody on board to ensure a holistic approach towards addressing issues of drug abuse,” he said.

Onyeisi, who spoke on the outcome of the engagement, said the command is leaving the event with the assurances and buy-in of the youths and other stakeholders towards their efforts.

“We also saw key stakeholders promise to support us with the sponsorship and advancement of this course at the grassroots. The youths also pledged their unflinching support to the initiative.

“With this, the war is already won because if we can get these young people who are most prone to abuse of hard drugs and other substances, commit to drug-free society, then there is no more challenge.

“So, we are happy that we made a major breakthrough today.

“We are leaving this meeting optimistic and this will lead us to the next step which include engaging the community leaderships as well as other strategies we have mapped out,” he revealed.

In his remarks, the State Director of National Orientation Agency, Joseph Uchendu, said the event is apt, as it will complement ongoing activities by the NOA and other stakeholders at the community level, towards eradicating drug abuse.

He informed that for the War against drug abuse to yield the desired result, the stakeholders must work to destroy the distribution chain from the producers to the distributor, down to the courier before it gets to the consumer.

His words; “I ant to commend the NDLEA Anambra State Command for the conscious towards their mandate. This event is highly commendable and will ensure that the youths understand their roles in dealing with this hydra-headed monster.

“I am optimistic that with the crop of youths in Anambra today, we will surely achieve a drug-free society.”

In their separate goodwill messages, the representatives of the Nigerian Army, the Police and the DSS, harped on the need for government to set up a centre to take care of drug addicts, where they will be reorientated and rehabilitated.

The police Commissioner representative called for stringent legislations that will deter future offenders from engaging in drugs.

They collectively pledged their collaboration in the War against drugs.

On his part, the State NYCN Chairman, Surveyor Comrade Obi Emeka Chukwudi acknowledged that the drug business is very lucrative enterprise with strong individuals behind it in the state, noting that the war is one that requires strategic planning to overwhelm those who are beneficiaries of the illicit business.

He made a very strong case against the undue transfer of committed NDLEA officials from Anambra, who are making appreciable progress in crushing drug peddlers.

“What we usually see is a situation whereby once we get a commander who is committed to winning this war in Anambra, all of a sudden, he is transferred and the whole efforts come to nought. This is because very highly-placed persons are behind this wicked business and they have connections.

“Anambra youths therefore demand that the NDLEA hierarchy consider this and ensure that persons posted here and who have started making good progress in dealing with this issue, are left to complete their efforts.

“As Anambra youths, we believe in a sane society, conducive enough for our people to manifest their potentials and a society characterized by drug peddling and addicts cannot guarantee such our expectations.

“Therefore, the NYCN under my watch, will partner the NDLEA to bring the incidence of drug abuse especially among our youths to the barest minimum.

“On the other hand, operatives of the NDLEA must also respond to reports and intelligence information from the youths and act on them promptly so that their position will not be jeopardized.

“This will also give the young people the confidence to continue to volunteer credible information when needed,” he opined.

The event also featured keynote lecture by a resource person on the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, while the State NDLEA commander, Onyeisi, took time to respond to questions by the participants on some grey areas of the fight against drugs.

He also at the event, presented awards of recognition to some individuals and groups for their outstanding inputs towards the efforts of the NDLEA, even as the recipients vowed to continue to make valuable contributions to eliminate drug abuse in the state.

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