Acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, has declared that the agency would spare no effort to curb the vices of drug abuse and cultism among students.
At a one-day sensitisation campaign in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital with the theme: “The Dangers of Drug Abuse and Cultism,” Audu-Ohwavborua said the two vices were destroying the future of the young generation, especially students.
The NDDC boss, who was represented by the commission’s director of youths and sports, Mr. Offiong Ephraim, said youths must distance themselves from the problems of cultism and drug abuse to enable them contribute to the development of the Niger Delta region.
He said the campaign against social vices was meant to sustain the peace in the region by educating the youths, especially secondary school students on the dangers of cultism and drug abuse.
In a statement issued yesterday by the NDDC’s director of corporate communications, Dr Ibitoye Abosede, Audu-Ohwavborua, who shared educational materials, including electronic tablets 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.
Earlier, the Bayelsa State director of the NDDC, Engr. Theophilus Alagoa, said drug abuse was beyond taking dangerous substances like codeine or smoking Indian hemp. “When you take drugs from chemists or pharmacies without prescription from qualified medical practitioners, you are engaging in drug abuse,” he declared.
Alagoa urged the students to help in spreading the message of the campaign against drug abuse and cultism to their various schools.
The keynote speaker, an associate professor of political science at the Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Dr Philip Okolo, lamented that drug abuse and cultism had become endemic in Nigerian society.
He warned the students to beware of the negative influences from peer groups and remain focused in their studies in order to become useful members of the society.
In his remarks, the special adviser on youths to the NDDC boss, Engr. Udengs Eradiri, said the NDDC was determined to help the youths to develop their innate talents. To assist them in this process, he said, the NDDC was giving the students electronic tablets loaded with educational materials.
One of the students from Government Girls Secondary School, Nembe, Miss Aydelegite Ebikiemo, thanked the NDDC for giving the students the opportunity to learn how to keep away from social vices and promised to be an agent of positive change in her school.