By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has donated a brand-new pickup truck and power bikes to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and promised to allocate land for the construction of its barracks in the State.
Abiodun while handing over the vehicle in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta to the Chairman of NDLEA, Rtd. Brigadier-General Mohammed Buba Marwa, during a courtesy visit, said the effort would further enhance the fight against drug abuse.
The governor, who described the rate of drug abuse as alarming, stated that the menace has destroyed many homes and rendered addicts useless, saying the statistics rolled out by the agency called for more attention, to reduce its negative effects.
He said the state had adopted measures to reduce the prevalence of drug abuse to the barest minimum, through air surveillance to monitor and ensure that dangerous plants were not planted in its vast forest reserves, adding that efforts had been intensified to engage the youth positively.
“The connection between unemployment, crimes and other social vices in the society, has led our administration to put in place various intervention programmes, such as youth empowerment scheme, horticulture training for unemployed youths, among others to engage them positively,” the governor said.
Speaking earlier, Brig.-Gen. Marwa, stated that the prevalence of drug abuse in Nigeria was three times the global average, adding that the nation was approaching 15 million Nigerians abusing drug.
Marwa said the work of the agency was hazardous, as its officers were being assassinated regularly, noting that not having barracks to house its officials was of great concern to the agency.
“Millions of our youths and families are being destroyed by drug abuse. The menace cut across age, tribe, religion and gender, that is one single ailment that afflicts all Nigeria communities’,” said.