By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Benue State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, weekend organised a sensitisation walk around Makurdi town to sensitise the populace on the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking.
The exercise was part of activities to mark the year 2022 United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking with the theme: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crisis.”
Leading the walk from the Low Level Roundabout through Wadata to the State Command Headquarters, the Benue State Commander of the agency, Mrs. Esther Musa who cautioned on the dangers of illicit drug use and abuse reechoed the need for the people to live in a drug free society.
While lamenting the increasing rate of crime in the society, the Commander attributed the development to the rampant use and abuse of illicit substances and called for sustained efforts by all to ensure the success of the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, campaign.
She said, “you will all agree with me that drug abuse challenges have become a problem that calls for concern for all and sundry. It is a health problem as well as a humanitarian challenge because of the crisis that we are currently experiencing as a result of drug abuse.
“So, we are embarking on this walk to sensitize the general public to stay off drugs, and to let the society know that drugs have no benefit, that drugs damage your health and cause crisis for us in the society.
“We call on you to join hands with NDLEA; the general populace, the community leaders, children, parents and everyone, to join us in this fight and say no to drugs.”
The First Lady of the state, Dr. Eunice Ortom, who was represented by the Program Manager of Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, ESLF, Tine Agenor, commended the command for its relentless war against the menace of drug abuse and for embarking on the sensitization walk.
She promised to collaborate with the agency to sensitize the Benue public on the dangers of illicit drug use.
She said, “We must preach and take action against drug abuse. Everyone gathered here today should be an ambassador by fighting against drug abuse in their respective domains until our society is free of drug abuse.”
On his part, the Direction of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, Benue State, Mr. Joseph Ijir urged the youths to stay off drugs and save themselves the devastating effect of drug abuse.
Counselling the youths, Mr. Ijir said “our youths please do not spoil your future by involving yourselves in drugs. Drugs will do you no good. Stop the use of ganja, monkey tail, ogogoro, excess alcohol and indian hemp. Let us have a drug free society where we have a future.”
Others who spoke at the end of the walk were representatives of other sister agencies and organizations including the Police, Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, Nigeria Security Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, Youth Corps members as well as selected Benue artistes, who all added their voices to the campaign calling on Nigerians to join the war against drug abuse in order to end the menace.