Transparency and Integrity


Governor Wike To Clamp Down On Illicit Use Of Drugs In Rivers State


Rivers State Government To Partner With NDLEA In Setting Up Rehabilitation Centre.

The Governor of Rivers State, Barr Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has said that Rivers state  Government will work with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to set up a Drug Rehabilitation Centre in the State.

Governor Wike gave the assurance while. receivinga the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) who  paid a courtesy visit to Rivers state Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

In a statement signed by Kevin Ebiri the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Wike said, 'often, people think that the fight against criminality in the country should be targeted only at bandits and kidnappers with less attention paid to root causes of such crimes, which is the use of illicit drugs.' 

Governor Wike laying emphasis on concerted efforts said, it is needed to reduce  the level, use and abuse of illicit drug in the society, while holding on to the possibility a reduction in crime rate. 

" It's most unfortunate that people think that fighting crime is only when you fight bandits, and kidnappers but nobody wants to understand the root cause of most of these crimes." 


According to Wike people who engage in criminal acts such as rape and kidnapping, often do so under the influence of illicit or hard drugs. 

Governor Wike pointed out the need to look at the fight against criminality holistically across the country with equal attention given to both drug influence and the crime perpetrators.

"Any government worth its salt would not hesitate to support the agency in order to tackle the issue of drug.

"For choosing Rivers State first as your first point of call shows how you take the State, and remembering that this is where your career started after your graduation from the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA).  

"As for the rehabilitation centre,  we will work that out with the Commander in the State, to see how we can set up a Drug Rehabilitation Centre in the state. We will also give you three Hilux Vans immediately to enhance performance of the agency."

He lamented the state of most institutions and agencies established by the Federal Government stressing that they are not provided with requisite working tools to enable them to perform their statutory functions.

According to him, when such institutions and agencies lack the basic tools, there is no magic that can be performed in achieving the mandate for which they were established. 

In his speech, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd.) said after he assumed office five weeks ago, the agency had gone all out to deal with the reduction of drugs supply across the country.

He stated that there is too much criminality in Nigeria with insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and rape being caused by perpetrators under the use of drugs.

" Behind most of this criminality is the use of drugs. Unfortunately, this is one thing that does not distinguished between communities,  ethnicity, religion,  age or gender.

" The prevalence in Rivers State, actually, is 15 percent from the drug survey of the UNODC that was released recently. However, it is not the worse, in fact, it is placed 14 in the country.  

" In a state like Lagos there is a prevalence of 33 percent which, means one out of every three Lagosians between the ages of 15 and 64 is taking illicit drugs and involved in abuse of hard drugs which is quite terrible for a country like ours." 

Appealing to Governor Wike he said, consideration should be given to the  consider setting up of a Drug Rehabilitation center and a State drug control committee.

In fulfilment of the Rivers State Governor's pledge to enhance the operational capability of the State command of the NDLEA,  the Chief of Staff Government House, Engineer Emeka Woke, on behalf of the governor, presented three brand new Hilux Vans to NDLEA Chairman.

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