By Precious Oluwole
Ondo State House of Assembly has expressed its determination to continue to support any law that forbids drug abuse in the state, promising to collaborate with relevant authorities in waging war against the monster.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Olamide Oladiji, made this expression on Tuesday while hosting the Zonal Commander, Zone J of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Parah Julius Bawa in his office.
Receiving the Zonal Commander on behalf of the Speaker, his Deputy, Rt.Hon (Prince) Abayomi Akinrutan, explained that Ondo State Government will join the Agency in putting in place awareness programmes and advocacy aimed at combating illicit drugs across the State.
Akinrutan, who described Ondo State as one of the most peaceful States in Nigeria, called on parents, stakeholder and individuals to always enlighten the youth on the danger inherent in drug abuse, saying that no meaningful development can take place in a drug ridden society.
Oladiji however, expressed deep appreciation to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for honouring him with the Ambassador of War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), saying such gesture would further spur him to support zero tolerance to drug abuse in the State.
Earlier, the Zonal Commander, Zone J of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Parah Julius Bawa said the purpose of his visit to the House was to identify with the Lawmakers in the pursuit against drug trafficking, drug abuse and other social vices.
According to him, over 14 million people in Nigeria engage in various drug related offences every year, saying that the alarming rate informed the creation of war against drug abuse (WADA) by the Agency.
While calling for the collective efforts of all and sundry towards stamping out the unhealthy behaviour in the society, Bawa appreciated the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Odunayo Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, CON for his various measures aimed at making the State a safe haven for living.
He however, solicited the support of the House of Assembly when necessary, disclosing that the Agency had already introduced the teaching of drug abuse into the school Curriculum in Nigeria at all levels as this will help to nip in the bud the menace of this abuse.