The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it is in partnership with the Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) to key into the initiative of War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) by the agency.
The Commander, NDLEA Zone J (Ondo), Mr Bawa Parah, stated this on Wednesday in Akure during a town hall meeting with principals of all secondary schools in Ondo State.
Parah said the WADA initiative was conceived by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the agency, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa and had identified principals of secondary schools as major stakeholders.
He said that they were important, being the custodians of students and the reason the meeting was being held to protect students (youths) from being victims of drug abuse.
Parah, who quoted the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2018 “revealing that 14.3 million Nigerians between the ages of 15 and 64 years were involved in drug abuse, said the figure posed serious calls for concern’’.
He said the meeting was important to allow NDLEA to gain access to schools for periodic sensitisation of the students on dangers and implications of involvement in drugs and crimes.
“WADA is indeed a tool for community and stakeholders’ collaboration to collectively address the cankerous drug dread.
“Having identified secondary school principals as major stakeholders, being the custodians of students – our youths – the Marwa administration directed that town hall meetings be organised and held with you for the purposes of protecting our dear Students from being victims of drug abuse.
“Let us all take note that the insecurity confronting our dear nation and indeed the entire world today is being fuelled, propelled and energised by involvement in drug abuse and trafficking.
“We must all therefore take a stand against such vices by saying ‘NO! TO DRUGS’ whilst firmly acknowledging that a society free from drug/substance abuse is almost or near a crime-free society.
“We must therefore all work and guide our students towards such a society,” he said.
Parah urged the principals to put machinery to monitor clandestinely, the activities of students with a view to discouraging drug-related crime and ensure a zero-tolerance posture for drug abuse.
The State Commander of the NDLEA, Mr Mumuni Raji, urged the principals to take the message to the students to secure the future of the country.
Raji said that drug is evil and would do anyone no good and urged everyone to turn up and fight the monster.
The Tutor-General, Ondo Central Senatorial District, Mr Rufus Ojo, appreciated NDLEA for the love, care and concern for the future of Nigerian Youths.
Ojo said he was happy with the journey of sensitisation of principals who were the middlemen between parents and the students.
“The issue of drug abuse, alcoholism and youth violence which have gained so much ground in our schools and among our youths has been a concern to all stakeholders.
“Government has tried by organizing programmes in secondary schools across the state to curb this menace but it cannot do it alone,” he said.