Port Harcourt — As a way of sustaining peace and stability in the Niger Delta region, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has taken its campaign against drug abuse and cultism to youths, students and stakeholders in Akwa Ibom State.
The campaign, according to the Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, was intended to sustain the peace in the region by sensitising youths especially secondary school students on the dangers of cultism and drug abuse.
Audu-Ohwavborua speaking at the campaign tagged, the Dangers of Drug Abuse and Cultism, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital said the two vices were destroying the promising future of the young generation.
Represented by the Director of Youths and Sports, Mr. Offiong Ephraim, the Acting NDDC boss advised youths must flee from the twin problems of cultism and drug abuse to enable them to contribute to development.
“We decided to embark on this campaign because this is the right time to catch the young ones and tell them why they should not indulge in drug abuse.
“The problems associated with drug abuse are so enormous to quantify. We all know that even in our society people are not sure of their safety because cult activities are everywhere.
“After this seminar, if anyone approaches you to join cultism or indulge in drug abuse you should be able to say ‘no’ because of the dangers that go with these vices.
“So many people have gone haywire even mad because of drug abuse and cultism will not allow you to concentrate on your studies because if you are a member of any cult group you may likely drop out of school.”
Audu-Ohwavborua, who shared 100 educational materials including tabs and bags to students, urged them to become ambassadors and advocates of anti-cultism and drug abuse in their respective schools to help their colleagues shun such practices.
He urged the students to help report anybody with drug-related problems to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency or the Narcotic Unit of the commission to help in rehabilitating the victim.
Speaking on, the effects of drug abuse and cultism on youths and students, the Akwa Ibom State Commander of NDLEA, Mrs. Obot Bassey, asked the students to avoid receiving gifts from strangers disclosing that edible gifts might be soaked in drugs.
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer in Akwa Ibom, SP Odiko MacDon, said that drug abuse and cultism were interrelated and could lead an individual to commit heinous crimes punishable by law.
MacDon urged the students to avoid joining bad gangs and focus on their studies for better tomorrow instead of weeping in prison due to wrong decisions.
One of the students, Mr. Israel Udoh, who came from the Government Technical College, Uyo thanked the NDDC boss for the programme and promised to be an agent of positive change in his school.
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