The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State command has expressed concern over alarming rate of youth involvement in illicit drugs.
Accordingly, the command within the past four months, seized a total of 165kilograms of hard drugs from 105 youths.
This was revealed by the state Commander, Mrs. Obot Bassey, while speaking on, “Role of hard drugs in Teenage cultism” at the panel discussion on, “finding solution to Teenage cultism: A case study of Uyo High school”, organised by Rotary Club of Uyo metropolis in collaboration with Lions club Uyo, Jaycees Club International, Global shapers, and Toastmasters, yesterday.
Apart from illicit drugs, she said youths in the state are involved in other heinous crimes such as rape , banditary, armed robbery, kidnapping as well as cultism among Secondary Schools children the state in recent times.
She therefore advised the State government on the need to introduce drug testing in Secondary Schools as a way of detecting students whose violent actions were being influenced by abuse of hard drugs.
Her words, “I resumed here 4months ago, and in 4 months the NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State command has seized 165kilogrammes of hard drugs from 105 youths. It could be shocking and very alarming to see that last week, August 6 to be precise, a 26-year-old male was arrested with 1.2031kg of Cocaine worth N25million, the highest seizure in Akwa Ibom state in 18years.
” What will a 26-year-old be doing with N25million? On finding solution to teenage cultism, my take on this is that we should look at the protective factors and how to bring children out of cultism in Akwa Ibom state. Parents need to know how to develop their wards .
“We NDLEA enjoin the Commissioner for Education Akwa Ibom State that before you send the students back to Uyo High school, you should get Drug test-kits, let them be tested before they are reabsorbed into the school. Heinous crimes such as kidnapping, banditary, rape, cultism are all hinged on hard drugs”
In her remark, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, noted that it does not only negatively affect the teaching and learning processes but also persons in the society, stressing that, whenever there was an uprising the violence leads to destruction of people’s vehicles, houses and other valuable properties.
Etiebet who was represented by the Director Quality Assurance in the ministry , Mrs. Roseline Mfon, thanked the initiators of the programme aimed at finding a lasting solution to teenage cultism, and prayed that the menace be exterminated in the School system or at least be reduced to the barest minimum.
“The case of Uyo High school has been at the front burrner in the state, and it is quite serious. It is a source of concern to everybody, both the government and the people of Akwa Ibom state and beyond.
” It has got to a point where even some teachers are living in fear. In that kind of atmosphere the teaching process is disrupted, the performances of the children are negatively affected. So this is a very, very big challenge. It is a big issue. And I want to thank the organizers of this programme especially for this noble initiative”.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Ini Ememobong, said the collaboration of the service Organizations became important so that the impact of their humanitarian services could be felt more in the society.
Ememobong noted that students would be invited during future discussions adding, “It is our hope that after today’s discussion, we will take it further by bringing the students. And we believe that before this year runs out we would have been able to find the solution to teenage cultism problem.
“Also this is the beginning of the process that will bring all the service Organizations together to achieve strategic planning for humanitarian service in Akwa Ibom State”.