NDLEA deplores high rate of drug abuse in Imo
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has expressed concern over increasing rate of drug abuse among youths in Imo State.
Its Deputy Commander, Operations and Intelligence, Kayode Raji, stated this during an interactive programme on Understanding the Freedom of Information Act, Curbing The Increasing Rape, Gender Violence and Drug Abuse, organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
He explained that the aim of the forum was to find ways of collaboration between the NOA and other stakeholders in addressing social vices in the state.
Raji said the NDLEA in the state had observed an increasing number of youths in its custody who are undergoing rehabilitation from misuse of drugs and other illicit substances.
He said the Agency had stepped up sensitisation on the health hazards of drug abuse and its social implications, noting that the NOA had been involved in the fight against illicit drugs.
State Director of NOA, Vitus Ekeocha, noted that ignorance was a major challenge in the fight against rape, gender-based violence and drug abuse, adding that the agency was poised to work closely with other stakeholders in ridding the society of the menace.
Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, who was represented by a Director in the Ministry, Kennedy Amanze, stressed the need for transparency in governance, noting that citizens should get acquainted with facts at all times.
He said the state government was desirous of finding ways of curbing drug abuse, rape and gender-based violence.
Representative of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) in the state Mrs. Chizoba Okafor, canvassed speedy passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill currently before the legislature to guarantee women’s rights.
She said no fewer than 140 cases of rape were reported in the state during the COVID-19 lock down and appealed to traditional rulers to support the cause of women.
In his paper on Freedom of Information Act, Deputy Director of NOA, Nazzy Njoku, charged states yet to domesticate the act to do so, while laws that conflict with the FOI Act should be repealed to ensure its smooth operation.
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