By Ogochukwu Nwaokafor
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, and stakeholders, have called a meeting on how to fight drug Abuse in Anambra State, especially Methamphetamine, (Mkpuru mmiri)
Fides reports that the summit was held in Awka last weekend with its aim to fight the illicit drug’s availability and consumption that cause great danger, and threatens the socio-political and economy of the state and to bring everybody on board to ensure a holistic approach towards addressing issues of drug abuse.
‘It is more worrisome that a sizable number of clandestine laboratories for the manufacture of Methamphetamine discovered by the NDLEA were in Anambra State,’ NDLEA Commander, Mr Onyishi Ogbonna, said during his opening speech.
The event was in line with the mandate given to him upon assumption of office to eradicate illicit drugs and reduce cases of drug abuse in the state.
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 could 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, and the schools and make sure this message is loud and effective-for youths to shun drug abuse.
Mr Onyishi, who spoke on the outcome of the engagement, said the command was leaving the event with the assurances and buy-in of the youths and other stakeholders towards their efforts.
‘The key stakeholders have promised to support us with the sponsorship and advancement of this cause 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 the most prone to the abuse of hard drugs and other substances, to commit to a drug-free society, then there is no more challenge,’ he said.
Adding to the speech, the State Director of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, Mr Joseph Uchendu, noted that the event would complement ongoing activities by the NOA and other stakeholders at the community level towards eradicating drug abuse.
In his words, ‘I commend the NDLEA, Anambra State Command, for the conscious effort towards their mandate. This event is highly commendable and I will ensure that the youths understand their roles in dealing with this hydra-headed monster.’
He emphasized 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 got to the consumer.
‘I am optimistic that with the crop of youths in Anambra today, we will surely achieve a drug-free society,’ he said.
Goodwill messages from stakeholders, 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 would be re-orientated and rehabilitated.
They collectively pledged their collaboration in the War Against Drugs.