The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, on Monday pledged the commitment of traditional rulers in Anambra to fight drug abuse and drug trafficking.
Achebe made the pledge at Onitsha at the sensitization programme on drug abuse organized by Come Alive Initiative, a non governmental organisation (NGO) for students attending holiday classes.
He said that traditional rulers commitment was to further assist government on checking the activities of criminals in 177 communities in the state.
The monarch, who identified drug abuse as the leading cause of criminal activities and violence among youths, insisted that stakeholders must support the war.
“Monarchs in Anambra have decided to fight drug abuse and trafficking comprehensively, even as Gov. Willie Obiano has declared war on crimes and criminality in the state.
“As traditional rulers, we must get everybody involved and even help to coordinator and mobilise bodies to see that the fight would be taken to the doorsteps of every family in the state.
“We need to redeem the legacies of our fathers and ourselves by making sure that our children are disciplined and uphold the age-long positive legacies of our great state,’’ Achebe, who is also the Chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, said.
He said that the traditional rulers were prepared to lead the war against drug abuse and trafficking in Anambra.
“We are starting by talking directly to the students and motivating them to dream big and be hardworking,” he said.
Achebe also lauded the leaders of Come Alive Initiative for starting their nationwide outreach and rehabilitation of drug victims in Anambra.
Speaking also, the Vicar of St. Mary Catholic Church, In-land Town, Onitsha, Rev. Fr. John-bosco Okafor, advised students to shun drugs and alcoholism.
“Drugs and alcoholism had been identified as major inducements for most students who are into cultism.
“I will also urge you to use the free classes as well as the opportunity you have to be serious with their studies.
“The Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha and our archbishop, who is a lover of youths, would continue to support the programme,’’ Okafor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Okafor also donated N50,000 to the organisers of classes.
Earlier, the National Co-ordinator of the NGO, Mr Victor Enwezor, said that their aim was to assist government in the war against drug abuse and trafficking in Anambra.
Enwezor said that the NGO had formed a students’ anti-drug abuse club in Onitsha and pledged to replicate the clubs in all the communities in Anambra.
He said the youths remained the focus of the NGO toward catch-them-young and using them as foot-soldiers to take the message to the various homes.
“We have got the support of the chairmen of the council areas in Onitsha and the Obi of Onitsha on this project while the Redeemed Christian Church of God has agreed to provide facilities for rehabilitation of drug victims in the state,’’ he said.
NAN also reports that more than 4,000 students are attending the free classes funded by the Obi of Onitsha.