July 16, 2024

NDLEA confiscates 165 kilograms of illicit drugs


Ini Billie, Uyo

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), Akwa Ibom State Command said it seized a total of 165 kilograms of hard drugs from 105 youths in four months.

The State Commander, Mrs Obot Bassey, said the alarming rate of youth’s involvement in illicit drugs business, heinous crimes such as rape, banditary, armed robbery, kidnapping as well as cultism among Secondary Schools children in the state was alarming.

Speaking on the “Role of hard drugs in Teenage cultism” at the panel discussion on “Finding solution to Teenage cultism: A case study of Uyo High School”, organised by Rotary Club of Uyo Metropolis in collaboration with Lions Club Uyo, Jaycees Club International, Global shapers, and Toastmasters, on Monday in Uyo, Bassey advised the State Government to introduce drug testing in Secondary Schools.

She said the drug tests would detect students whose violent behaviours were influenced by the abuse of hard drugs, adding that a 26-year-old male was recently arrested with 1.2031kg of Cocaine worth N25 million.

“I resumed here four months ago, and in four months, the NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State Command has seized 165kilogrammes of hard drugs from 105 youths. It could be shocking and very alarming to see that last week, August 6 to be precise, a 26-year-old male was arrested with 1.2031kg of Cocaine worth N25 million, the highest seizure in Akwa Ibom state in 18 years.

“What will a 26-year-old be doing with N25 million? On finding solution to teenage cultism, my take on this is that we should look at the protective factors and how to bring children out of cultism in Akwa Ibom State. Parents need to know how to develop their wards.

“We (NDLEA) enjoin the Commissioner for Education, Akwa Ibom State that before you send the students back to Uyo High school, you should get drug test-kits. Let them be tested before they are reabsorbed into the school. Heinous crimes such as kidnapping, banditry, rape, cultism is all hinged on hard drugs,” she stated.

Speaking ealier on the cultism situation in Uyo High School, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, mentioned that it does not only negatively affect the teaching and learning processes, but also persons in the society.

She stressed that whenever there is an uprising, the violence leads to destruction of people’s vehicles, houses, and other valuable properties.

Etiebet who was represented by the Director, Quality Assurance in the Ministry, Mrs Roseline Mfon, thanked the initiators of the programme aimed at finding a lasting solution to teenage cultism, and prayed that the menace be exterminated in the school system or at least be reduced to the barest minimum.

“The case of Uyo High School has been at the front burner in the state, and it is quite serious.  It is a source of concern to everybody, both the government and the people of Akwa Ibom state and beyond.

“It has got to a point where even some teachers are living in fear. In that kind of atmosphere, the teaching process is disrupted, the performances of the children are negatively affected. So, this is a very, very big challenge. It is a big issue. And I want to thank the organizers of this programme especially for this noble initiative.

“We are trusting that God will help us to proffer the appropriate solution to the problem. If it cannot be eradicated, at least it can be reduced to the barest minimum. In fact, the issue of cultism should be exterminated completely from our Schools so that our children will have a better learning environment,” she said.

In his opening remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Ini Ememobong who is also the President of Rotary Club Metropolis said the collaboration of the service organisations became important so that the impact of their humanitarian services could be felt more in the society.

Ememobong explained that students would be invited during future discussions with the hope that it would help solve the problem of teenage cultism.

“It is our hope that after today’s discussion, we will take it further by bringing the students. And we believe that before this year runs out, we would have been able to find the solution to teenage cultism problem.

“This is also the beginning of the process that will bring all the service Organizations together to achieve strategic planning for humanitarian service in Akwa Ibom State,” he said.

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