By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
The Anambra state command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA has joined their counterparts across the country in commemorating 2023 World Drug Day.
To commemorate the day, NDLEA in collaboration with Nnamdi Azikiwe University and International Society For Substance Use Professionals held a one-day sensitisation programme at the school auditorium, UNIZIK, Awka.
The event featured inauguration of War Against Drug Abuse in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, official flag off of a Master of science degree programme in Addiction Intervention in the University, NDLEA/Lady Victoria Onyido annual quiz competition for secondary schools and university quiz competition on drug awareness for the Vice Chancellor’s Trophy.
Inaugurating the War Against Drug Abuse UNIZIK, Awka, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (retired), represented by the Zonal Commandant, Owerri Zone, Mr Samaila Etta, called on those suffering from drug abuse related issues to go to any NDLEA office around them for rehabilitation, noting that they do not label such people as criminals because they see them as people who need help.
In an address, the Anambra state commandant NDLEA, Mr Daniel Onyishi, said that United Nations mapped out every 26th of June to campaign against drug abuse and trafficking to strengthen action against drug abuse, and said that to achieve a drug abuse free society, everyone must be a key player.
While appreciating Anambra state government under Professor Chukwuma Soludo for the support the agency has received and other sister agencies for working closely with the agency to achieve desired results, Mr Onyishi said that since he assumed office in February 2023, twenty-five persons have been fully rehabilitated, and about twenty-eight others still at the rehabilitation centers.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Education, Professor Ngozi Chuma-Udeh said that proper guidance, sensitisation, and close monitoring remain the key to checking the abuse of substance among youths, saying that peer influence is the major cause of the menace, and advised parents to keep close watch on their children and wards as they work hard to instill good morals on school children.
The Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Charles Esimone represented by the Director of Academic planning, Professor Angela Ufele urged the youths not to allow anyone influence them negatively, highlighting ugly effects of drug abuse in one’s life and the society at large, calling for ways to prevent it.
In an opening speech, the traditional ruler of Awka kingdom, Obi Gibson Nwosu represented by Professor Harry Obi-Nwosu, noted that NDLEA is one agency that has and is still living up to expectations, brings together other sister agencies towards achieving the desired goal, saying that Anambra state government and NDLEA are working tirelessly to ensure that drug abuse is reduced to its barest minimum.
The theme of the event was “People first, stop stigma and discrimination, strengthen prevention,” as the event featured lecture, grand finale of the Lady Victoria Onyido quiz competition where Mount Olive School, Umunya took first position and official launch of War Against Drug Abuse, among others.