Monday, February 21, 2022

P4P Delta Chapter Holds 1-Day retreat against Cultism, Drug Abuse, Violent Criminalities in Delta State

P4P Delta Chapter Holds 1-Day retreat against Cultism, Drug Abuse, Violent Criminalities in Delta State

Group photograph of P4P Members and Guest speakers


P4P Delta Chapter Holds 1-Day retreat against Cultism, Drug Abuse, Violent Criminalities in Delta State

Prior to the rampant incidents of cultism, drug abuse and killings which has become assume worrisome in Delta State, Partners for Peace in Niger-Delta, Delta State Chapter has held a one day retreat to sensitize the general public on how to eradicate cultism and other related vices in the state.

The Programme which was held on Tuesday February 8, 2022 at Ubeji Community town hall in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, attracted participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLA), Nigeria Police Force, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ubeji community Leaders, Ubeji Grammar School, and residents of Ubeji community.

Giving her address at the event, the Delta State Coordinator of P4P, Ms Jennifer Okotie, said that the Programme was a segment of the P4P’s regular engagements with communities in Niger-Delta geared towards promoting lasting peace in the region.

             Members of P4P

Continuing, she said, “This interactive session tagged, ‘Reducing Cult Activities, Drug Abuse and Violent Criminalities in Delta State’ became necessary following increasing wave of cult activities, rising abuse of drugs by the youths, and heinous crimes ravaging our society in recent times.”

She continued, “P4P is a network of peace actors in the 9 Niger-Delta states. Our primary objective is peace building to make our society.a better place to live in. We don’t do litigation but intervene when there is conflict between two “parties” and find a common ground for promoting peace by deploying dialogue, which remains the best option to settling disputes. In doing that, we prevent conflict from escalating.”

Okotie stated  further that avoidance, confrontation, compromise, accommodation and joint problem solving are the major conflict handling styles.

In a similar vein, the keynote speaker, Dr. Andrew Agboro who spoke extensively on the topic, ‘Cultism and Drug Abuse’ averred that Nigeria is ranked among the highest users of dangerous drugs such as alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and opioids in the world, even as he noted that use of dangerous drugs is prevalent among youths, especially students in Nigeria.

He added, “the consequences of drug addiction or drug abuse are so devastating to the extent that both the nation and international Organisations are worried about the spread of this scourge and its devastating effects on the youths.”
He advocated community policing, restructuring of moral fabrics by parents and religious groups, as the panacea for drug abuse and cultism.
In his earlier remarks, Pastor Edewor Egedegbe, Executive Director of Value Rebirth and Empowerment Initiative (VREI advocated that community leaders should be held responsible in every community in the event of any crime in the community.

Pastor Egedegbe averred that “Community leaders should be able to profile all members of their community (youths) to identify strangers, that way crimes will easily be nipped in the bud.”
Also, Ambassador Prince Ebiladei of P4P, spiced the event with an elaborate speech that set the tone for questions and suggestions on how to curb cultism, drug abuse and violent criminalities in Delta State.
Other personalities who made quality contributions on how to control the menace of drug abuse, and cultism include: Mr. Eluma Michael of the Nigeria police, Mrs. Ikokeno Melvine, Mrs. Joy Egedegbe, Ms. Efejuku Omasan, of National Orientation Agency, Warri-South LGA, and Ms. Adeosun Olabisi, of NDLEA, Delta Ports.

High point of the event was the released of a communiqué which highlighted measures for ending cultism, drug abuse, and violent criminalities.

The communique reads:
Parents must shoulder the responsibility of educating their children and wards, and the communities should be part of the process.

Youths should desist from cult activities or face the dire consequences of flouting the Delta State unlawful societies and cultism law now fully operational.Incidents of cult activities and other social vices should be reported to law enforcement agencies, including community leaders to ensure effective monitoring and policing of the society.Students are encouraged to take the message of peace to their schools and advise fellow students and peer groups to shun cultism, including educating them on the attendant consequences.

Teaching children about dangers of social vices and imparting good morals to them should start from childhood.Parents should be conscious of the programmes children watch on Television such as cartoons.

Cult activities and abuse of drugs happen everywhere, including our schools, our religious homes. 
Children sometimes pick items from schools and bring them home, of which some parents do not really bother about the habit, therefore, parents should be conscious and be on the alert to know what their children bring home and they should ask questions.

There is need for self-examination, as everyone is aware of the vices ravaging the society. The idea of somebody talking to somebody should be adopted.Surveillance should be activated in the communities so that children who want to buy drugs will be identified and stopped from indulging in the act. Also, patent medicine operators should be discouraged from selling drugs to youths.The youths are the future of our communities. They should be responsible for the building of the communities. There is no reason a youth should be involved in any form of social vices such as cult activities or getting addicted to drugs, and peer group influence is not a reason for partaking in social vices.Government should wake up to her responsibilities and do the needful to nip Cultism, drug abuse and various acts of criminalities in the bud.

It is the primary responsibility of parents and community leaders to be actively involved in handling, managing, and proffering solutions to drug related issues, such as drug abuse and cult activities.

Parents should be responsible for the welfare of their children and wards as most of the problems start from home, churches, and schools.The information, lessons and knowledge learned from the event should be transmitted to various homes and institutions.

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