Chairman of the Bayelsa State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Bubaraye Dakolo wants the federal government to introduce marine safety corps to tackle criminality on the sea borders.
The royal father said this in Yenagoa at a symposium organised by the state Drug Abuse Prevention and Rehabilitation Committee in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to mark this year’s World Drug Day.
Dakolo said if the measure is taken, the influx of drugs into the state through the sea routes would be curbed.
His position came even as the Bayelsa State governor, Senator Douye Diri urged politicians in the state not to destroy the future of youths by introducing them to drug use, especially during election seasons. Diri also stated that there was a relationship between hard drugs and crime.
He said his administration’s commitment to eradicating drug abuse was to produce responsible youths that would take over the mantle of leadership and added that the focus on education, skills acquisition, empowerment of small and medium scale businesses and other capacity enhancement programmes for youths was to occupy their minds in gainful ventures and divert their attention from criminal activities.
The governor enjoined all to contribute in efforts toward a drug-free society, while thanking the Dr. Faith Zibs-Godwin-led committee and others that have contributed to the reduction of drug abuse in the state.
He also commended the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and its Country Representative, Dr. Oliver Stolpe, for their efforts in fighting the scourge. According to him, reports by the NDLEA and other security agencies showed a downward trend in drug abuse in the state.
His words: “Today, all the accolades we receive are because we have put round pegs in a round hole in the Bayelsa State agency against drug abuse. Members of this committee work as a team and the team work has produced a good result.”
The NDLEA, at the event, decorated Senator Diri as its Frontline Ambassador in drug abuse prevention. The award was presented by NDLEA’s Director of Operations, Mr. Samuel Gadzama, on behalf of the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd).
Responding, the governor dedicated the award to his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, his cabinet, the drug abuse prevention community, those supporting the fight against drug abuse and the youths.
“Whatever I am receiving today as an award is because they have all worked conscientiously. It is because I also have a team that has done this work with me,” he said.