The Deputy Governor of Rivers State Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo says all hands must be on deck to kick out Drug Abuse in the Society because everybody is at risk of its negative consequences.
The Deputy Governor Stated this during a One Day Drug Abuse Awareness Seminar in Port Harcourt.
Represented by the Director Administration in the Office of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Ben Roberts the Deputy Governor said Drug Abuse as the name implies is the impulsive or inappropriate use of a mood swinging drug habitually without a physician’s prescription which negatively impacts on the human brain and body.
The negative impact of Drug Abuse is capable of destroying not only the individual who indulges in it but the entire society and the nation at large.
According to her it is expedient that we mobilize the entire citizenry to synergize the efforts of stake holders to nip this menace in the bud before it gets to the threshold of exponential proportion and becomes a Public Health Emergency.
“In this matter nobody is safe because as far as humanity is concerned, we are a close knit family, what affects your neighbor affects you for instance if your neighbors child is destroyed by drugs inadvertently you are also at risk because under the influence of drugs and illegal use of narcotics such a person can carry out actions that might cause bodily harm not only to him or herself but to other innocent people and therefore should be prevented by all means possible.” She said.
According to Dr. Banigo the use of hard drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, opium and alcoholic beverages like monkey tail, shekpe, ogospere, gun powder, inhaling of dry faeces, glue and very recently the use of tramadol ‘to get high’ are very harmful to the brain and the human body as a whole and must be condemned and stopped by well-meaning citizens.
“It is on this note that the Rivers State Government commends the Cay Wood Brown Foundation a Non Governmental and Non Profit making Organization for partnering with it in the area of equipping the youths to face the intellectual, spiritual and economic challenges of the country by providing appropriate and relevant trainings and empowerment where necessary.” She stressed.
The Deputy Governor said the Governor Wike Led Administration welcomes such partnership as long as it adds value to the progress, peace and tranquility of Rivers State.
“This is why today’s Drug Awareness Campaign for youths is very important to us as Government and as a people, we have sounded it loud and clear at various fora that we believe education is a veritable tool for the liberation of our people, because education avails them the opportunity to make informed decisions on life issues” she explained.
Dr. Banigo who said “Government has deliberately invested hugely in the education sub sector to build human and infrastructural capacity as well as creating the enabling environment” further explained that “it behooves on young people to take advantage of it and better their lives, because in the long run they would discover that life is what they make of it”.
She said Governor Wike is conscious of the fact that some youths were misguided in the past to join clandestine organizations that unleashed terror on other innocent citizens and residents and as a father wanted to give them a second chance.
“This informed the decision to set up the amnesty program where thousands of youths voluntarily surrendered their arms, denounced cultism and pledged to be law abiding citizens which is a step in the right direction” she stressed.
Dr. Banigo used the opportunity to advice youths who are still basking in the euphoria that crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, cultism, gangsterism, cyber crime and ritual killings which she said are carried out most times under the influence of drugs pays, “should have a rethink because the end result is death and destruction.”
Dr. Banigo commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion for also partnering with the Rivers State Government in its efforts to rid society and the youths of the misuse of illicit drugs.
Speaking on Drug Abuse and its consequences Mrs. Stella-Maris Amede of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said it has been observed that a lot of women now indulge in Drug Abuse which according to her negatively affects women in the area of child bearing, stressing that it could lead to early menopause and severe complications in pregnancies.
Also speaking Rev. Cannon John Ubulom said divine intervention remains the key weapon to tackle the problem of Drug Abuse because it is the spiritual that controls the physical.
In her paper presentation Mrs. Carmelita Agborubere said Drug Abuse is the compulsive, excessive and self damaging use of habit forming drugs leading to addiction or dependence.
On her part, the Coordinator of Cay Wood Brown Foundation Miss Uki Asemota said the decision to carry out the Drug Abuse Awareness Seminar was because a survey carried out by the CaywoodBrown Foundation indicated that a lot of young people in the society today abuse drugs not necessarily hard drugs but even prescription drugs, hence the need to intervene.
Mr. Augustine Nwaeze of the Garden City Library Project Read Advocacy who was one of the participants said he is concerned about the plight of youths whose lives have been destroyed by drug abuse, stressing that he personally went to the various water front’s to mobilize youths for the program but regretted that all the people he mobilized could not attend because of logistics.
Head of Press Unit
Deputy Governor’s Office Port Harcourt.
Friday, July 28th, 2017.