Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson says the establishment of the Rehabilitation Centre of the State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA will strengthen the fight against the use and trafficking in illicit drugs.
Governor Dickson, who stated this at the opening ceremony of the rehabilitation centre at the State Command of the agency in Yenagoa, expressed his administration’s commitment to collaborate with the NDLEA to rid the state of hard drugs and their related vices.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Security Matters, Chief Boma Spero-Jack, the Governor called for collaborative efforts in the task of checking the incidence of drug abuse in the state, as it was not the responsibility of the agency alone.
He expressed concern over the alarming rate drug abuse has assumed in the state, particularly among the youths, whom he described as the most vulnerable group to the problem, noting that, the government was considering the possibility of partnering with NDLEA in replicating such centres at the local government areas, to curb the menace.
While advising people, especially the youths to steer clear of illicit drugs, which he described as highly addictive, Governor Dickson urged victims of such drugs to make use of the rehabilitation centre and restore their lives.
Also speaking, the Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (Retd), commended the state government for the donation of an already furnished office space and residential counseling centre for the NDLEA, stating that, the facility would provide access to quality treatment and counseling as well as rehabilitation of patients.
Represented by the Assistant Commander- General of Narcotics, Director, Training and Manpower Development, NDLEA, Dr. Lawrence Opara, drug use and trafficking is a threat to the wellbeing of communities globally, the emerging trend in drug use and trafficking is also worrisome, as young people in the country had started the abuse of prescription drugs, such as tramadol and cough syrup containing codein.
In her remarks, the State Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Barr. Josephine Obi said the centre, which has met the minimum standard requirements for rehabilitation would provide residential counseling, recreational activities, computer appreciation and vocational training in the areas of snail rearing, fishery, poultry and baking.
Barr. Obi also noted that, the agency was in the process of setting up the State Drug Control Committee as prescribed by the National drug Control Master plan 2015 to 2019.
In their separate goodwill messages, representatives of the State Commandant of the Operation Delta Safe, Flt. Lt. Vincent Okoroafor and State Commissioner of Police, Chief superintendent of Police, Love Fabofieghe, said the establishment of the centre would go a long way in curbing violence and criminal activities.
In their contributions, the State Director of National Orientation Agency, Mr. Hugh Modu-Spiff and the Head of Department, Mental Health, Federal Medical Centre, Dr. Nwaopara Uche urged parents, wards and other stakeholders to join in the task of making Bayelsa drug free.