Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has implored politicians in the state not to destroy the future of youths in the state by introducing them to drug use during election seasons.

Governor Diri also stated that there was a relationship between hard drugs and crime.

The governor spoke on Wednesday at a symposium organised by the Bayelsa 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 at the Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall in Yenagoa.

He said his administration’s commitment to eradicating drug abuse was to produce responsible youths that would take over the mantle of leadership.

The Bayelsa helmsman equally said 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.

He thanked 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.

He said reports by the NDLEA and other security agencies show a downward trend in drug abuse in the state.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah and obtained by NAIJA LIVE TV, the governor was quoted: “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 NDLEA Director of Operations, Mr. Samuel Gadzama, presented the award on behalf of the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd).

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.

While presenting the award, the NDLEA chairman, Gen. Marwa (retd), stated that it was in recognition of Diri’s contribution towards curbing te menace of drug abuse, which he said was unparalleled in the country.

“You are a frontline ambassador on drug abuse prevention.
Thank you for what you are doing for NDLEA in Bayelsa State,” Marwa said.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Igwele, advised youths to desist from drug abuse and avail themselves of the education and skills acquisition opportunities provided by the Prosperity Administration.

In his remarks, chairman of the occasion and chairman of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, King Bubaraye Dakolo, called on the federal government to introduce marine safety corps to tackle criminality in the sea borders to curb the influx of drugs into the state.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Martins Agwojie, said Bayelsa was tops on evidenced-based intervention in drug abuse prevention.

He gave kudos to the governor for being at the forefront of the drug war among governors in the country.

Highpoint of the event was the presentation of a book titled: “Substance Abuse Prevention: Essential Life Skills for Students (A Teacher’s Guide)” written by a pharmacist, Dr. Faith Zibs-Godwin as well as the presentation of cash prizes to schools that came tops in the debate on drug abuse reduction.

The schools are the Ijaw National Academy, Kaiama, which came first, followed by the Nembe National Grammar School, Nembe and the Government Model Secondary School, Ekeremor.

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