Governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori has decried the alarming incidence of hard drug abuse in the country and advocated for concerted effort to stem the ugly trend.
Governor Oborevwori stated this when the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Retired Brigadier General Buba Marwa and his delegation visited him at the Government House, in Asaba, the state capital.
The governor lauded the NDLEA and other stakeholders for the fight against hard drug abuse and enjoined them to sustain the momentum in the war against illicit hard drugs business.
He assured the NDLEA of the State Government’s commitment and support to the fight against substance abuse and illicit drugs business.
The Governor said despite the rise in drug abuse, a lot was being done on advocacy and rehabilitation at the designated centers, adding that, in support of the goals of the NDLEA, he had appointed a capable hand as Senior Special Assistant on Illlicit Drugs.
He said the unfortunate incident of July in which an innocent child died and another injured in the course of an NDLEA operation in the state would not stop the state government from supporting the fight against drug trafficking and substance abuse.
Brigadier General Buba Marwa in his remarks earlier, appreciated Governor Oborevwori for his support to the agency saying that he was in Delta to condole with the Fidelis family on the death of the two-year-old Eromonsele who accidentally lost his life during an operation in Asaba and to also speak with stakeholders playing important roles in the fight against drug trafficking in the country.
Brigadier General Marwa said the agency was working towards processing and fast tracking travel arrangements to sponsor the surviving brother’s eye treatment in America.
He said hard drug scourge in Nigeria had become very high with over 15 million drug users within the age bracket of 15 and 64 years, attributing the rampant kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, insurgency, rape, murder and other vices across the country to hard drug abuse.
The NDLEA boss said drug abuse prevalence rate in Delta State among those aged between 15 and 64 was 18 percent, with over half a million of the population involved.
General Marwa said the agency, in two years, had destroyed over 1,000 hectares of land devoted to the cultivation of illicit drugs, siezed over 6,000 tonnes and arrested over 36,000 suspects and persons of interest, while over 6,000 were convicted and jailed.
The visit featured the decoration of Governor Oborevwori as Ambassador in the fight against drug and substance abuse.