The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has urged school Principals in Akwa Ibom to partner with the Agency in tackling the menace of drug abuse in secondary schools.
The Zonal Commander of NDLEA, Port Harcourt Zone ‘N’, Mrs Anthonia Edeh, made the call during a one-day “Drug Abuse” sensitisation meeting with principals of secondary schools on Wednesday in Uyo.
Edeh said that it was worrisome the dimension of drug abuse and illicit trafficking in both secondary and primary schools.
She expressed optimism that the partnership would help arrest the situation before it goes beyond control.
“In addressing the issue of drug abuse and trafficking among youths, there is the need to start where peer pressure is playing a role in its prevalence.
“Our partnership will focus on creating a strong support network.
“It is crucial to emphasise that drug abuse affects not only the individual but also their families, and our entire community.
“We aim to provide support and resources to those who are already struggling with addiction, offering a helping hand and a listening ear.
“We believe that every person battling addiction deserves a chance at recovery and a brighter future,” Edeh said.
The Zonal Commander urged the schools to redirect students’ focus beyond classroom activities to extracurricular activities, such as debates, quiz competitions, and sporting activities to curb tendencies to drug abuse.
She advised the principals to report any student suspected of drug abuse in their schools to NDLEA for quick intervention, and rehabilitation.
In her remarks, the State Commander of NDLEA, Mrs Obot Bassey, said that from research by the Agency, a lot of children in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions were involved in drug abuse.
Bassey called on parents not to relinquish their primary responsibility of training their children to teachers alone.
The state commander urged parents to actively monitor and guide their children to ensure a brighter future for them.
The Commissioner of Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, urged teachers not to relent in their efforts to raise responsible children for society.
Etiebet called on teachers in boarding schools to constantly check the hostels’ environment to be sure that students do not secretly abuse drugs.
The commissioner warned students against jeopardising their future by engaging in drug abuse.
She added that the state government would continue to collaborate with NDLEA to sanitise the state of drug menace.