The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Akwa Ibom State Command has said it seized a total of 165kilograms of hard drugs from 105 youths within a period of four months.
Akwa Ibom State commander Obot Bassey disclosed this while speaking about the role of hard drugs in teenage cultism at the panel discussion on finding solution to teenage cultism: A case study of Uyo High school.
Bassey expressed concern over the alarming rate of youths involved in the illicit drugs business, heinous crimes such as rape, banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping as well as cultism among Secondary Schools children in the state in recent times.
She advised the state government on the need to introduce drug testing in secondary schools as a way of detecting students whose violent actions were being influenced by abuse of hard drugs.
“I resumed here 4months ago, and in 4 months the NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State command has seized 165kilogrammes of hard drugs from 105 youths,” Bassey said. “It could be shocking and very alarming to see that last week, August 6 to be precise, a 26-year-old male was arrested with 1.2031kg of Cocaine worth N25million, the highest seizure in Akwa Ibom state in 18years.
“What will a 26-year-old be doing with N25million? On finding solution to teenage cultism, my take on this is that we should look at the protective factors and how to bring children out of cultism in Akwa Ibom state. Parents need to know how to develop their wards.
“We(NDLEA) enjoin the Commissioner for Education Akwa Ibom State that before you send the students back to Uyo High school, you should get Drug test-kits, let them be tested before they are reabsorbed into the school. Heinous crimes such as kidnapping, banditary, rape, cultism are all hinged on hard drugs.”
Giving an overview of the situation at Uyo High school earlier, the Commissioner for Education, Idongesit Etiebet, noted that it does not only negatively affect the teaching and learning processes but also persons in the society, stressing that whenever there is an uprising the violence leads to destruction of people’s vehicles, houses and other valuable properties.
Etiebet represented by Director Quality Assurance in the ministry, Roseline Mfon, thanked the initiators of the programme aimed at finding a lasting solution to teenage cultism and prayed that the menace is exterminated in the school system or at least be reduced to the barest minimum.
“The case of Uyo High school has been at the front burrner in the state, and it is quite serious. It is a source of concern to everybody, both the government and the people of Akwa Ibom state and beyond,” Etiebet said.
“It has got to a point where even some teachers are living in fear. In that kind of atmosphere the teaching process is disrupted, the performances of the children are negatively affected. So this is a very, very big challenge. It is a big issue. And I want to thank the organizers of this programme, especially for this noble initiative.
“And we are trusting that God will help us to profer the appropriate solution to the problem. If it cannot be eradicated, at least it can be reduced to the barest minimum. In fact the issue of cultism should be exterminated completely from our Schools so that our children will have a better learning environment.”
The state commissioner for information and strategy Ini Ememobong said the collaboration of the service organisations became important so that the impact of their humanitarian services could be felt more in the society.
Ememobong, who disclosed that students would be invited during future discussions noted, “It is our hope that after today’s discussion, we will take it further by bringing the students. And we believe that before this year runs out we would have been able to find the solution to teenage cultism problem.”
“Also this is the beginning of the process that will bring all the service Organizations together to achieve strategic planning for humanitarian service in Akwa Ibom State,” Ememobong said.