Substance abuse capable of fuelling fresh unrest in N’Delta, Dikio warns
The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dikio (rtd) has warned that substance abuse by Niger Delta youths was capable of fuelling a new wave of militancy in the oil-rich region.
Dikio, who spoke when he visited Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), in Abuja, appealed that urgent steps should be taken to tame the menace.
In a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media, Nneotaobase Egbe, the PAP boss expressed the hope that the partnership between the two bodies would drastically reduce cases of drug abuse and re-orientate the youths for more productive ventures to sustain the peace and development in the area.
He said: “We have a unique challenge in managing ex-agitators. We want to take active measures to not only manage the ex-agitators, but also to stop the pipeline that leads to deviant behaviour and militancy.
“It goes without saying that some of these people get their motivation by using or abusing substance. So, we want to key into what you are doing on the arrest side and learn what we can do on the prevention side.”
Responding, Marwa assured the visitor that the issue would be frontally addressed. He decried the wave of drug-induced crime in the country, pointing out that the collaboration between PAP and his agency would focus on sensitisation and counselling programmes as major preventive measures.
While identifying poverty as the main cause of drug abuse in Nigeria, the NDLEA chief executive explained that criminals take substance to embolden themselves for criminal activities.
Marwa applauded Dikio’s willingness to make the Niger Delta a drug-free zone. He said 80 per cent of drug users in the country only require counselling, adding that statistics backed by a United Nations study indicated that in Nigeria, one in every seven persons aged 23 to 64, abuses drugs.