The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Rivers State, has declared that electoral violence can be closely linked to the abuse of drugs by youths, saying the two causes unimaginable damage to the country.
NDLEA deputy commander, Administration and Logistics, Isa Likita Mohammed, made the declaration in Port Harcourt while speaking at a one-day summit organised by a political pressure group, Tonye Patrick Cole Project (TPCP).
Mohammed, who outlined the negative effects of illicit drugs on citizens, called on youths to desist from consuming hard drugs and engaging in electoral violence.
In his keynote speech, a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke, said Rivers State has had its fair share of violence, which started during the regime of former Governor Peter Odili in 1999.
Nwuke observed that Odili’s successor and current minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, made effort to eliminate the activities of political thugs and criminals, which led to the return of peace in the state.
He further observed that since Amaechi’s tenure, the state has returned to another era of violence.
Earlier in her welcome address, coordinator of TPCP, Boma Harry, who observed that development can only thrive in an environment of peace, said violent attacks on the electorates in recent times, is a source of concern to the group.
Harry said it has become necessary to avert the recurrence of spate of killings experienced during 2015 general elections.