The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for stiffer measures to check the incidence of drug abuse and illicit trafficking, noting that stakeholders need to band together to better engage youths on activities to mitigate the menace.
The governor said this on the commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (World Drug Day), marked every year on June 26, by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC) and its sister organs.
According to the governor, “As we mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we are once again reminded of the dangers of drug abuse and the dangers it portends for society and the mental health of citizens. Though a lot is being done to tackle the menace, there is no denying that critical stakeholders in the health, development and social sectors, at the national and international levels, have to work together to tackle this menace head on.
“The theme for this year’s commemoration, “Better Knowledge for Better Care,” aligns with our strategy for equipping our youths with the right skills to lead better, rewarding lives that would keep them too busy to do drugs. We would continue to push for more of these programmes through our job creation and skills development programmes, and ensure that youths are well engaged and equipped with the right skills to compete in the fast-paced global economy.”
On his part, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, said the state government is committed to mitigating the problem of illicit drugs and related crimes in the state with the reconstitution of the Edo State Drug Control Committee (ESDCC).
He added. “Several community advocacy programmes, including media outreaches have been held by the committee and an elaborate work plan developed to sensitise members of the public to the dangers of drug abuse.
As a result, the anti-drug abuse billboard campaign was launched in the last quarter of 2019. Besides, the committee is poised to scale-up its campaign programme in schools, workplaces, markets, churches and mosques.”