The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, says the Commission will spare no effort to curb the vices of drug abuse and cultism among students.
Speaking during the one-day sensitization campaign in Yenagoa, 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 Chief Executive Officer, 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 to contribute to the development of the Niger Delta region.
He explained that 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.
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 in his remarks, the Bayelsa State Director of the NDDC Engr. Theophilus Alagoa observed that drug abuse was beyond taking dangerous substances like codeine or smoking Indian hemp. “When you take drugs from chemists or pharmacy without a 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 on their studies in order to become useful members of society.
In his own remarks, the Special Adviser on Youths to the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Engr. Udengs Eradiri said that 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.
Another student from Community Secondary School, Sabagreia, Miss Gabriel Sarah, said she now knows why it was important to refrain from drug abuse and cultism.