Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has declared that his administration “is single minded and resolute” about rooting out crime and criminality to ensure that Abia remains safe.
Governor Otti stated this while declaring open, a one day ‘Sensitisation Campaign Against Cultism and Drug Addiction in Nigeria,’ organised by the Abia State Orientation Agency (ABSOA) and held at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia.
According to the Governor, “No amount of alcohol, drug addiction or whatever it is that one had consumed would justify any action taken that is against the law.”
Continuing he said: “And for us, we are single minded about rooting out crime and criminality and ensure that our state is safe for our citizens and our visitors.”
The Governor said that the campaign was imperative as it would help to educate the citizens about the implication of cultism and drug addiction.
“I believe this sensitisation campaign is absolutely in order. We want to educate you and expose you to implications of some of these actions that lead to other actions that would lead us to a reaction that you may not like.
“We have people today pooling themselves together and inflicting injury, hurt, hatred and even killing fellow human beings. There is never anytime you can justify it. Armed robbery, kidnapping, abductions, violent crimes and banditry have been related and associated very closely with cultism and drug addiction.”
He advised participants at the event to take the dangers of cultism and drug addiction seriously in order to impact positively on others.
In his goodwill message, the Inspector General of police, Kayode Egbetokun, represented by DCP Sani Shuaibu, described the campaign against cultism and drug addiction as timely and commendable as the youths have fallen victim to cultism and drug addiction.
The IGP assured that the police were ready to synergise with other sister agencies and the Abia State Government to fight the menace of cultism and drug addiction.
Earlier in his address, the Director General, Abia State Orientation Agency, Pastor Dike Nwankwo, noted that the programme was aimed at sensitising and reorientating Abians, especially the youths, on the dangers of cultism and drug addiction. He highlighted the dangers associated with cultism and drug addiction and maintained that the campaign would bring about a cross fertilisation of ideas and proffer solutions to the menace of cultism and drug addiction.
Delivering a keynote lecture on the topic, “Building a New Abia Through a Responsible Citizenship,” the Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Maduebibisi Iwe, identified the challenges confronting youths to include unemployment, inadequate revenue generation and weak industrial base.
He stressed the need for responsible citizenship by all, especially the youths and emphasised that everyone has a duty to be a responsible citizen while appreciating Governor Otti for the approach he had taken in the fight against cultism, drug addiction and criminality in Abia State.