…..as 14.3m Nigerians allegedly involved in Menace
The Zonal Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Zone J, (Ondo), covering both Ondo and Ekiti States, Parah Julius Bawa has revealed that current Chairman of the agency, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa has increased the war against illicit drugs because 14.3 million Nigerians were actively involved in the menace before assuming office.
Parah, who said such an embarrassing trend was now almost becoming history through decisive efforts, made this known in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti capital, Thursday, at the opening of a One-Day Town Hall meeting, organised for principals of secondary schools in the State.
” When Gen. Buba Marwa served as Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Eradication of Drug Abuse, he said he discovered, through a drug survey, conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC) in 2018 that a lot of Nigerians were in drug abuse.
” The survey revealed that 14.3 million Nigerians were involved in drug abuse, majorly those between the ages of 15 to 64, of which 1, out of every 4, was a woman.
” The survey further revealed that 10.6million Nigerians were hooked to Cannabis Sativa”, he said.
Continuing, he said, ” armed with these rather disturbing facts and statistics, the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, upon assumption of office, embarked on restructuring and repositioning, towards greater performance, to squarely address the drug problem”.
According to him, one of the products of such restructuring exercise was what gave birth to the initiation of what is now known as ” War Against Drug Abuse, (WADA) sensitization campaign.
He explained that having identified secondary schools principals as major stakeholders to be targeted and carried along, Gen Marwa directed town hall meetings, such as the one held in Ekiti, be organised with the principals, to checkmate young students from being victims of pressure of drug abuse, under the WADA initiative.
He said under the WADA programme, principals across the country, would be expected to allow access to their schools, for specific sensitisation of students, on the dangers inherent from involving in drugs and other crimes.
Besides, he said the principals would also be expected to establish, or form WADA Clubs, with the sole aim of astute stand against involvement, while also putting machinery to monitor clandestinely, the activities students among others.
“Let us all take note that the insecurity confronting our dear nation and indeed, the entire world is being fuelled by misguided adults, who fuel, perpetrate and initiate the innocent young ones, schools inclusive”, he said.
Speaking in a welcome address, the President of the State chapter of Conference of Principals, ANCOPPS, Mrs. Olukowade Adekemi Kehinde, thanked government and NDLEA for the sensitization, saying the conference of principals, agreed with the initiative that principals must be in the forefront of shaping lives of young children, not only in the area of acquisition of knowledge, but also, in the shaping of lives .
Declaring the town hall meeting open, the Permanent Secretary, Ekiti Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Mr. Michael Omolayo, said it was the expectation of the State government, that principals, hold firm to their duties, and avoid abdication of responsibilities.