FIC Report (Edo State) – NDLEA boss, Obaseki condemn rise in drug abuse amongst the youths, seek stricter measures to check the menace
The Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency , NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Muhammed Bubar Marwa (rtd.) and Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki have condemned the rising case of drug abuse amongst youths in the country.
They declared their stand at a seminar/lecture tagged, “Say No To Drugs”, organized by Edo State government as part of activities for the just concluded Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament (BOWFT), in Benin City. Both of them called for the strict enforcement of the existing laws and new legislation to tackle the menace .
Mr. Obaseki noted that, Drug abuse has reached a crisis level in the Nigerian society and that it is almost becoming a pandemic.
“Report from our monthly review of our Council Security meeting in Edo State, and crime analysis in the state, identifies drug abuse as the second most pressing issues of concern in the state as regard crime and criminality aside from kidnapping which is also enhanced by drug abuse.” he added.
The Governor also said that drug abuse has been worsened by the strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which has made students who are idle at home to seek
avenues for self-expression.
According to Mr. Obaseki, “Drug abuse is a global crisis that is why we have taken it upon ourselves to make the call for a collective actions amongst different stakeholders to collaborate and tackle drug abuse as the adverse effect has destroyed the lives of many youths and condemned them to live dependent on drugs.
“Drugs also limit the ability of the youths to function effectively in our society and deprive the society of a much needed human capital to drive productivity and economic growth.
“It is a global issue that must be tackled head on. As we seek more support in tackling drug abuse in Edo State and Nigeria, we are ready to collaborate with NDLEA to tackle drugs.”
Speaking on the effect of drugs on sports, the Governor noted that drug abuse presents itself in various forms with immense impact on the sports industry and the larger society, hence his call for a collective actions to tackle the menace for the betterment of the society.
He stressed that sports is a very important tool for social mobilization and youth engagement, adding that it presents a veritable platform to wage war against drug abuse.
Governor Obaseki applauded the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) and sporting community across the country for using this pre- season women’s tournament to raise social consciousness on social vices by deploying sports as a tool for societal regeneration .
The NDLEA Chairman who was represented by his Special Adviser, Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho, commended the First Lady of Edo State, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki for taking drug abuse as the theme of this year’s tournament and for working with relevant stakeholders to fight the menace to a standstill in Nigeria .
Delivering a paper titled “Combating Drug Trafficking and Providing Care for Victims of Drug Abuse,” Marwa said the programme complements the ongoing War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy launched by NDLEA in June 2021.
The NDLEA boss said focus on the girl child and young women was strategic in the efforts to curb the rising trend of drug abuse amongst Nigerians.
He disclosed that a national survey has shown that 14.3 million Nigerians, most of them, youths abuse drugs while Nigeria has exceptionally high drug of prevalence of 14.4 %.
Considering the severity of the situation, Brig. Gen. Marwa (rtd), said Nigeria needed to move away from old ways of tackling drug issues and adopt new measures that are effective in delivering lasting gains.
In her speech,, the facilitator of the event, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki said “We are working to bring back the glory of Edo people as we are known for sports, entrepreneurship and culture and entertainment. This administration is out to re-enact the glory of the state, especially in sports. As we try to re-enact sports in the state, we are targeting our young girls and creating a way for them to make good money in sports.
“During the 72nd session of FIFA Congress in March this year, our state was recognised for the great improvement in sports, especially in empowering our youths through the BOWFT.
“Every year, we adopt a theme for the tournament and this year is to fight against drug abuse.”
By Amarachi Linda Egwaoje,