The wives of governors in Nigeria under the aegis of Governors’ Wives Forum (GWF) have declared total support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and its ongoing war against abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs, while seeking a formidable partnership that will secure the states and Nigeria from the menace of drug sub-culture.
According to a statement signed by Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy and made available to the National Association of Online Security Reporters (NAOSRE), the supports for NDLEA was the highlight of a meeting between the leadership of the forum and the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd) at the Agency’s National Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday last week.
Ekiti state First Lady and Chairperson of NGWF, Erelu Bisi Fayemi led the delegation which includes First Lady of Kwara, Mrs. Olufolake Abdulrasaq; Imo, Mrs. Chioma Uzodinma and Yobe, Hajiya Hafsat Kollere Buni.
Welcoming the governors’ wives, Gen. Marwa expressed appreciation for the visit adding that the interest shown by them in the country’s drug problem shows their humanity and commitment to support their husbands engender a better society devoid of drug-induced criminalities.
“Let me put it on record that President Muhammadu Buhari is the number one drug fighter in Nigeria today because of all he has done to ensure the country wins the war against abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs. As such, we count on the states especially the governors’ wives as the pillars and partners through which citizens across the states, local councils and communities are mobilised to reject this ravaging sub-culture”, he stated.
He charged the governors’ wives to work with their husbands to make the drug problem a major priority on their agenda; support the state commands of NDLEA with logistics; set up rehabilitation centres; provide jobs and skills for the youths; massive advocacy campaigns on state-owned media houses and mandatory drug tests for students, workers as well as intending couples among others.
In her remarks, Erelu Fayemi said they came on the visit to inform Gen. Marwa of their collective decision to adopt drug abuse as a flagship project “to address the alarming problem of drug abuse in our communities.”
According to her, “We are therefore here today to pledge our support for NDLEA to ensure that our country and communities become drug free. We are not willing to stand by as mothers and watch our children consumed by this menace.”
They presented four requests, all of which were instantly granted by Gen. Marwa. Their demands include that NDLEA continues to see State First Ladies as important allies in furtherance of the objectives of the agency; involve them in the fight against drugs as Champions in their respective States; help build the capacity of State First Ladies and their teams to be effective partners in the war against drug abuse and involve them in national and State campaigns against drugs.
In their contributions, the First Ladies of Kwara, Imo and Yobe expressed their willingness to key into the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy agenda and the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) of the agency in their respective states.
In like manner, leaders of the Nollywood industry under the aegis of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) have declared support for the ongoing war against drug abuse in Nigeria even as they expressed their preparedness to join the crusade against the scourge.
The Actors made the declaration during a meeting with the Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) at the National Headquarters of the Agency in Abuja.
While commending the Nollywood actors and the entertainment industry for projecting the image of Nigeria, Gen. Marwa expressed confidence that the campaign against drug abuse in the country will go far with the offer of partnership and support from the leadership of AGN.
He said with drug use prevalence in the country three times the global average, the Agency needs committed partners like the Guild to mobilise the citizenry against the menace.
According to him, “A number of artists don’t only use, they also encourage others to abuse drugs through their work and activities on social media. We want the Guild to set good example by leading the war within its circle. Your movies must promote messages against the use of illicit drugs because the minds of millions are shaped by what they watch in movies. We need you to set up War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) committees within your industry.”
Speaking earlier, National President of AGN, Emeka Rollas Ejezie said, “We are here today to affirm our complete support to your efforts in combating the menace of drugs in our society as we strongly believe will help reduce drug crime to the barest minimum.
“As a Guild of major influencers and in line with our set objectives to educate, inform and entertain as well as our avowed commitment to national development, we seek a mutually beneficial partnership with the NDLEA to leverage on the star-power of our members in promoting some of your transformation programs especially on drug trafficking and abuses.”
Listing the areas he will want the Guild to collaborate with the NDLEA, he said, “Majority of our members are youths and appeal to a generation of youths who are influenced heavily by internet content and social media.
“We have, therefore, outlined some advocacy programs to enlighten Nigerian youths on the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking; they include but not limited to: production of skits majorly for social media campaigns; drama series on negative effects of drug abuses, rehabilitations, eradicating the fear of stigmatization and advantages of total abstinence; engage some of our A-List actors as NDLEA Ambassadors to help use their star power to discourage the youths from doing drugs among others.
“We share in the dream of a better Nigeria where success will be the reward for hard work and not through drug trafficking and other drug related offences.
“The era of glorifying drug barons and criminals is far gone and the Actors Guild of Nigeria, as Ambassadors of Nigeria’s image is readily available for advocacy campaigns, talk-shops, production of skits, playlets, feature films among others on the menace of drug abuse and trafficking”, he stated.
Apart from the National President, Emeka Rollas Ejezie, other members of the delegation include: Mohammed Kareem, Vice President North Central; veteran actor, Zulu Adigwe; Steve Eboh; Onwurah Agility Ifeanyi; Waash Waziri, Vice President North West; Nazareth Jesse Bako, Mayor AGN Abuja; Pamela Abah; Veteran actor, Lisa Onu and Hajiya Salma Ibrahim, Chairman AGN Kaduna.
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