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Okorocha orders demolition of hard drugs sellers’ den, prosecution of peddlers

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Governor Rochas Okorocha

Worried about the disturbing spread of sale of hard drugs in nooks and crannies of Imo State, Governor Rochas Okorocha has directed the demolition of any house used for the sale of illicit drugs.

He also ordered the peddlers of such drugs to be prosecuted.

The governor who gave the directives at the weekend, also set up a task force chaired by a lawyer, Mrs. Ijeoma Igboanusi, to work in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to carryout their assignment.

He said it was necessary to prevent the future generation from being wiped out by drugs consumption.

Addressing the task force yesterday in Owerri, Okorocha directed that the Cultural Centre located in Orlu and Okigwe be converted to rehabilitation centres, saying: ‘’Let me congratulate the taskforce on illicit drugs and to encourage them on the risk ahead. We will fund this taskforce very well to be sure they lack nothing in the course of executing their job.

We shall convert the Cultural Centre in Orlu to a rehabilitation centre and the one in Okigwe shall be called the Drug Rehabilitation Centre.

“The society is finished. The young men are gone and what that means is that all issues we are struggling for, when we are no more in this world, we have nobody to handover to. It is very worrisome and I weep about it because I now realize how empty it is with our children. You are speaking and they are looking at you but not with you.’’

The governor lamented the problem consumption of drugs has caused the state, particularly among the youths, urging the church leaders to pray against it. He said a law would be initiated and hopefully be passed in the House of Assembly to regulate such consumption.

His words: “We have problem in this land. Please the Church should pray. And I don’t know what the bishops, reverends and pastors are doing in this nation. We have gotten to a situation where you see a child rise up in the morning and slaps the mother before going out. I’m passing a law now that after 20 years no child is to stay with the mother anymore, they should leave the house. So that they can learn to stand alone.’’

On the punishment awaiting the offenders, the governor directed that the homes be demolished while prosecution takes place.

“One of the decisions we have taken is that once we discover a place they are selling drug, we must bring down the house, no matter who owns the house. Once the landlord cannot control what people do in his house, that place must come down. If marijuana stops, kidnapping, armed robbery will stop. Our traditional rulers know them and they are afraid of them in the villages. So they have become too powerful. And we must as a matter of urgency, address this issue of illicit drugs.’’ he maintained.

Igboanusi, promised that her committee would carry out the job according to the mandate, warning those involved to desist as they would not be left unpunished.

In another development, angered for not complying with the state government’s instruction, Governor Okorocha, at the weekend, revoked about 200 undeveloped industrial plots in the outskirts of the capital city.

Okorocha, who physically inspected the plots, lamented the non-compliance to his call after about seven years his administration constantly directed the allottees to do so.

The governor urged willing developers to approach relevant state government agencies and ministries and obtain necessary documents and payments for the purpose of development for industrial purposes.

He said he had put necessary apparatus in motion to ensure that the state was developed industrially. 

According to him, all necessary enabling environments had been put in motion, including opening up World Bank Road, in the Owerri West Local Council for the purpose.
 
Okorocha said that the state would give willing allottees necessary documents of occupancy within one year of application, to enable them work in developing the state industrially, adding that the government would provide electricity in the area, with their guarantee that they would develop within six months.

The State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief Emma Ojinere, had visited the area, condemning the act. He also visited the Consumer Protection Council office in the state, urging the staffers to work towards handling the issues containing protection of products.
Meanwhile, the government has disclosed plans to establish Peace Kadet Corps across the 284 secondary schools in the state.

The Special Adviser to the governor on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Peter Ohagwa, disclosed this at the weekend, while meeting with members of the Peace Advocates in Owerri.

He said the corps would be located in all the 27 local councils in the state.

Ohagwa explained that the plan is to ensure that peace reign in all parts of the state

He urged the people to support the project, adding that it would make the state to enjoy better opportunities for co-existence.

The special assistant added that there were plans to also have state atonement programmes.

He said the planned corps would involve 10 students from each school in the state, where the head teacher would also under a three-month programme on peace and conflict resolution

Ohagwa stressed that through the project; peace agents would emerge from the institutions and beyond.

According to him, the state was committed to the project, especially as it would help in actualising the advocacy of the Coalition of Peace Advocate Corps

He said Governor Rochas Okorocha has given the necessary backing for the project to make the state, not just peaceful, but also prosperous.


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