By Olusola Oke
Akure – Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has appealed to other security agencies to partner with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to fight drug abuse and trafficking.
Akeredolu made the appeal at an event to mark the 2018 World Drug Day celebration in Akure.
He said that no effort should be spared in saving the vulnerable from getting involved in hard drug-related activities.
The governor, who noted that youths were largely involved and being used by drug lords, called for cooperation to tackle the menace.
According to him, cannabis sativa is largely cultivated and distributed in some parts of the state by those who erroneously believe that it is a means of economic survival.
He vowed that the state government would do everything humanly possible to assist NDLEA to bring to the barest minimum, if not totally eradicate, the cultivation of the plant in the state.
” NDLEA should take the bull by the horns through vigorous enlightenment campaign especially in secondary schools to stem the tide of ever increasing abuse among youths.
” The campaign should also be extended to farmers in remote parts of the state to encourage them to cultivate economic plants rather than cannabis sativa that does more harm than good to the society, ” he said.
NAN reports that the 2018 edition of World Drug Day is tagged: ” Listen First: Listening to Children and Youths is the Step to Help them Grow Healthy and Safe.’’
Mr Haruna Gagara, the state Commander of NDLEA, said that no fewer than 12 persons had been convicted for hard drug-related offences between January and June.
Gagara, who added that many suspected traffickers were still being prosecuted, commended the judiciary for its support.
He pledged that the command would intensify its intelligence gathering and surveillance activities to apprehend drug traffickers and their barons.
” We will continue to give lectures and sensitise market people, motor park staff and students on the danger of illicit drug trafficking,” he said.
According to him, NDLEA will reach out to community leaders for their support to curb the drug menace.
Gagara called on members of the public to always report any official of the agency colluding with hard drugs dealers.
” You should give us information on any of our personnel involved in hard drugs or colluding with drug lords.
” We assure you that we will deal with such erring personnel because we do not condone corruption or indiscipline, ” he said.