NAS Joins Forces with NDLEA Against Drug Menace in Enugu

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The Enugu State leadership of the National Seadogs, also known as Pyrates Confraternity, has partnered with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to curb the menace of drug abuse in Enugu State.

The Enugu State chapter president of the Association, Mr. Joe Mazeli, in a statement sent to newsmen on Monday in Enugu, said drug abuse is fast becoming a serious defect that requires collective efforts to curtail.

“Drug abuse is not just a personal problem; it affects societies on many levels,” Mazeli stated. “Our tomorrow as a people is not guaranteed if we decide to wallow in our collective silence.”

He noted that the fight against drug abuse has largely been left to state agencies like the NDLEA as opposed to collective efforts, which is what it is supposed to be.

“We are simply playing the ostrich,” he said. “Prevention of drug abuse through education, accessible treatment options for addicts, and support for the recovery of treated patients, instead of stigmatization, are all crucial components of addressing this menace effectively. Education and awareness campaigns remain the best option because, in local parlance, prevention is better than cure. This is why we must all join hands to curtail this and not leave it only in the hands of the NDLEA.”

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Mazeli emphasized that education starts from the basic level of socialization and extends to other platforms, stressing that parents, caregivers, religious bodies, and institutions of learning have abdicated their responsibilities in training the young.

“This is evident in the constant erosion of our value system,” he said. “Instead, it is even adults who are supposed to caution these youths who are exposing them to such dangers.”

He lamented that Enugu State is not immune to this serious decadence as it is fast becoming an anthem across some streets.

“As part of the larger fringe of Nigerian society, Enugu is susceptible to the vagaries of its societal malaise. Consumption of illegal drugs seems to be the order of the day.”

Mazeli recalled the excruciating experiences they had during one of their visits to the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Enugu that left them dumbfounded.

“A visit to the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, New Haven, Enugu will leave one with more questions than answers on the ages of patients admitted based on drug-related issues. This is not to talk about the unfortunate ones not so lucky to have people to take them to the hospital, hence littering the street corners with insanity.”

Mazeli highlighted that these challenges led the National Association of Seadogs (NAS), Enugu Chapter, to partner with the NDLEA Enugu State Command, a partnership he said, has yielded several street drug awareness campaigns, tagged “War Against Drug Abuse (WADA).”

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“We understand the fact that a man must accept his fate, or he will be destroyed by it. It is the fate of NAS to fight against ills militating against the attainment of a just society. Abdicating that responsibility means denying ourselves air and water,” Mazeli declared.

In acknowledging the contributions of NAS, the NDLEA Enugu State Commander, Mr. Peter Ogar, during a recent familiarization visit by the group, expressed that the Command will never take the gesture for granted.

He extolled the leadership of NAS in Enugu State for their efforts in making society a better place.

“As local residents, it is such collaborative efforts that will solve the menace of drug abuse in society. The Command cannot be everywhere at the same time, but everybody can be everywhere at the same time. We are happy with what NAS Enugu State is doing and will always give them the needed support.”

Furthermore, Mr. Mazeli called on concerned stakeholders, especially parents, caregivers, and institutions of learning, to be vigilant and look out for strange activities among the young.

He urged relevant government agencies, especially the Ministry of Education, to incorporate drug awareness campaigns among extracurricular activities and during moral instruction classes.

“Drug Awareness Clubs should also be established to enhance constant interface.”

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“Human existence and nature are based on continuity. We need to sustain our society by joining hands to educate and highlight the inherent dangers of drug/substance abuse. We cannot continue to play the ostrich because, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., ‘our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.'”

Mazeli concluded with a reminder from one of Africa’s finest leaders, Jomo Kenyatta, who instructed that “our children may learn about the heroes of the past, but our task is to make ourselves the architects of the future.” “We cannot do that if we allow our children to perish in the course of illicit drugs, alcohol, and substance intake,” he said.

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