Delta State Governor Raises Alarm Over Drug Abuse, Pledges Support to NDLEA

Delta State

Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, has expressed concern over the high rate of drug abuse in the country, saying it is a global public health crisis that requires urgent and collective action.

He made this remark on Thursday, when he received the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), who paid him a condolence visit in Asaba.

According to a 2022 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Nigeria, 14.4% (14.3 million) of Nigerians aged between 15 and 64 years abuse drugs.

This translates to an 18% prevalence rate of drug abuse among the same age group in Delta State, with over half a million (500,000) people involved.

Governor Oborevwori commended the NDLEA for its remarkable achievements in busting drug cartels and seizing illicit substances across the country while assuring the agency of the state government’s unwavering commitment and support in the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trade.

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He said, “Drug abuse is both a global health and social problem. In Nigeria, it has become a public health menace. It needs urgent and proactive actions to be able to handle the trend, and I assure you of our unwavering support and partnership in this fight.”

The governor also disclosed that he had appointed a Senior Special Assistant on Illicit Drugs to coordinate the state’s efforts in tackling the menace. He added that the state was also carrying out advocacy and rehabilitation programs at designated centers for drug users.

He further stated that the unfortunate incident that occurred in July, where a two-year-old child, Eromonsele Fidelis, was killed and another injured during an NDLEA operation in the state, would not deter the state from going after drug dealers and traffickers. He said the state government had taken care of the medical bills of the injured child and had also facilitated his treatment abroad.

He said, “The incident that happened in July will not stop the state from going after those into illegal hard drugs. After the incident happened, the people who fueled the attack on the NDLEA personnel are those into drugs. NDLEA did not just go to that scene to raid; there was information which was very reliable. We went to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, to commiserate with the family and took care of the medical bills. We commend the NDLEA for sending a team for an investigation to ascertain what actually happened. I also instructed the Secretary to the State Government to give a letter to the family to get an American Visa for the treatment of the child abroad.”

On his part, Marwa appreciated the governor for his sympathy and support to the agency.

He commended him for his work in the state and wished him more successes in the future.

He said he was in Delta to condole with the Fidelis family and to also engage with stakeholders who play important roles in the fight against drug trafficking in the country. He said the agency was determined to rid the nation of illicit drugs, no matter who was involved.

“We are here to condole with the family of the innocent child who lost his life during our operation in Asaba. We are also here to speak with stakeholders who are playing important roles in the fight against drug trafficking in the country. We are determined to rid the nation of illicit drugs, no matter who is involved. We need the support and cooperation of all Nigerians to achieve this goal,” He said.