Nigerian drug law enforcement agency, NDLEA, National agency for food,drugs administration and control, Nafdac in Bayelsa state have promised to partner against drug abuse.
This was revealed to The Tide in Yenagoa, on Tuesday, in separate interviews conducted on the sidelines of the 2020 international day on drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
Fielding questions from our correspondent,the Bayelsa state commander, NDLEA, Kupi Maulsei reiterated their resolve to get rid of illicit drugs in the state.
The commander mentioned that outside the use or possession of illicit drugs that is incriminating,the taking of these drugs in itself makes addicts act contrary to expected societal norms,as these drugs move hand in hand with other crimes.
Maulsei caution against the menace of drug abuse,maintaining that some of the reasons adduced by illicit drugs users as to why they take these drugs unknown to them are actually the negative effects associated with drug abuse.
He called on employers to make remuneration of workers attractive just as he noted that some drug abusers the NDLEA has interacted with in the cause of carrying out their legal duties confided in the agency that they take these drugs in order to put in longer hours to work just to earn extra wages due to poor take home pay.
The drug law boss who also spoke on a trending odourless illicit drug called Arizona cannabis in the state warned that all illicit drugs are destructive, advising parents and guardians to watch the company their children and wards keep as peer group influence over the years has continued to play a higher negative role in the abuse of drugs.
“Arizona cannabis is a new odourless hard drug that is trending now.You won’t even know when a drug user is taking it because it doesn’t smell,but it’s very dangerous and destructive”, he said.
“I advice employers to increase wages for their employees. Some persons we’ve encountered confessed having been involved in illicit drugs taking so that they can work longer hours for additional income due to poor salaries”, he added.
Theme for this year’s world drug day according to the state NDLEA helmsman is “Better knowledge for better care”.
He noted that the state command has a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts,restating that the command between January-June 2020 confiscated 63kg of illicit drugs while 193kg were seized in 2019,just as he said the age bracket of hard drugs users in the state falls between 16-37 years.
In related development, the Bayelsa state coordinator,National agency for foods,drugs administration and control, Nafdac, Mr Joseph Edor has assured that his agency would continue to collaborate with the NDLEA and other sister agencies as well as well meaning individuals and corporate bodies to ensure that illicit and controlled drugs are not sold by unauthorized pharmacies and people in the state.
Edor hinted The Tide that as a result, Nafdac has been carrying out periodic checks on pharmacies and chemists to free the state of fake and contraband drugs.
The agency,according to Edor has also been carrying out checks and raids on food, drinks and beverages sale outlets across the state,saying that expired foods,drinks and beverages are as harmful and dangerous as illicit drugs.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
‘Senate Begins Constitution Review After Sallah’
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege has said that work on altering the Constitution would commence after the Sallah break.
Omo-Agege, who chairs the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution, disclosed this when two groups – Women Education Advocacy and Development Initiative (WEADI) and League of Women Voters of Nigeria (NILOWV) – paid him courtesy visits in Abuja.
He stated that rights of women and the girl-child would be protected in the exercise.
He added that his committee would take into account experiences from other African countries.
“Immediately after the Sallah, we are going to hit the ground running with Constitution review exercise. And there are a lot of bills dealing with women rights advancement.
“We will take the Ugandan and Rwandan experiences into account to see how we can meet up with the agitation of our women in the Constitution review exercise,” he stated.
Omo-Agege had said that Sexual Harassment Bill recently passed by the Senate was not targeted at lecturers in higher institutions of learning.
He said the bill was to flush out the few bad eggs tarnishing the image of their colleagues.
The lawmaker regretted that few educators were soiling the image of their colleagues, majority of whom he described as “decent”.
He said: “This bill is not targeted at our lecturers in tertiary institutions. To the extent that it is targeted at anybody, it is targeted at the errant few, the few predators in their midst. And we have them everywhere.
“So, this bill is targeted at the very insignificant few who cause most of these atrocities and we have decided that we should put a stop to it. I am sure that even most of these lecturers know that they are not the target.”
He expressed optimism that given the level of overwhelming support from the Presidency, it would get presidential assent once it receives concurrence from the House of Representatives.
The Bill to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions, 2020, which was passed by the Senate at its sitting on July 7, 2020, prohibits sexual harassment of students in tertiary institutions and prescribes jail term ranging from two to 14 years for various degrees of offences.
Sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate and co-sponsored by 106 lawmakers, the proposed legislation also prescribes N5million fine for offenders.
When signed into law, any educator who whistles or winks at a student or makes sexually-complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student’s physique would be liable to two years imprisonment or a fine of N1million, if found guilty.
Court Bars NDDC From Executing Projects Without RSG Consent
A state High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to always seek the consent of the Rivers State Government before the execution of projects in any part of the state.
This was the judgment of the state High Court presided over by Justice Adolphus Enebeli, last Wednesday, in a suit by the Rivers State Government, Governor Nyesom Wike, and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Rivers State against the NDDC, and its former Managing Director, Nsima Ekere; former Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Derick Meene; and others instituted in 2017.
Justice Enebeli, in his ruling in the matter, granted a declaration sought by the claimants that under Rivers State Physical Planning Law, Rivers State Land Law, and Rivers State Urban Development Law, the NDDC or its agents have no power to claim any land or execute any project, including street lights, water supply, road, jetty, and other infrastructures in any part of Rivers State without the consent of the government.
The court, however, refused to grant the declaration sought by the claimants to invalidate or void Section 7 and 8 of the NDDC Act, which borders on the developmental roadmap of the nine states of the Niger Delta region without recourse to other Niger Delta states.
Justice Enebeli said the proposed 60 projects for execution across the state by the then NDDC-led management team, which was the subject of the litigation, if allowed, will affect urban development and undermine the Land Use Act as applicable to Rivers State.
He, therefore, ruled that there was need for the commission to seek the consent of the state government for the execution of such projects in the state as development agents.
COVID-19: Group Provides Palliatives To Andoni Vulnerables
Some prominent sons and daughters of Ikuru Town, Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State under the aegis of Illustrious Sons and Daughters of Ikuru Town have donated Palliatives worth millions of naira to indigenes of the community.
The palliatives include thousands of bags of garri, face masks and others.
Some members of the organisation which include, Engr Emiyare Ikuru, chief Ndeng Ofik, Chief William Mike Omani, and Architect Ntimam Finomo told newsmen during the distribution exercise that the gesture was to cushion the effect of hunger in the community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Engr Ikuru particularly told newsmen that the exercise was the first of a series of programmes outlined for the community by its prominent sons and daughters.
According to him, the second phase of the programme will start within the next few months.
Meanwhile, the Okan-Ama of Ikuru Town, King Aaron Ikuru has charged indigenes of the community to observe all protocols against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The King who spoke to newsmen during the distribution exercise said protocols put in place by government to check the spread of the disease were not meant to punish anyone.
He commended the illustrious sons and daughters of the community for the gesture and urged other illustrious sons and daughters of other communities in Andoni to emulate their counterparts in Ikuru Town by doing the same to their people.
A cross section of beneficiaries made up mostly of women and other vulnerable groups commended the donors for the gesture.