The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has blamed the increasing rate of drug abuse in the state on the lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Addressing journalists after the state’s security council meeting at Government House in Benin City, he said drug abuse is the second biggest security threat in the state.
The security meeting was attended by representatives of various security agencies in the state.
He said the the state recorded 19 drug abuse cases for the month of February, 34 cases for the month of March, and 23 similar cases for the month of April.
Obaseki noted, “Drug abuse ranks among the top two of serious security concerns in our state. Our analysis shows that there is a high rate of consumption of illicit drugs in the last few months which is not unconnected with the lingering ASUU strike which has kept many students at home and idle.
“The strike is one of the factors that is driving the use of illicit drugs in our state. I therefore use the opportunity of this council meeting to appeal to ASUU and the federal government to do all they can to please end this strike as soon as possible for the interest of the children of this country so that we don’t keep them at home, destroying their lives.”
He added, “The idle mind is the devil’s workshop. One way we hope that we can reduce the use of drugs is if we take these children back to school.”
“I think the other is the rate of accidents. We have observed slight reduction because of the rain and we also want to use this medium to further appeal to the federal government that the major arterial roads, the major truck roads leading into Edo be repaired, particularly the Benin-Auchi and Okpekpe-Okene Roads.”
“These roads account for quite a number of the deaths we have recorded as a result of vehicular accidents. The state has enjoyed relative decline in other incidents, which shows that Edo is becoming safer,” the governor said.
In his response, Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro, said that the facts speak for itself, noting that Edo is safer now than before.
The Police Commissioner said the security agencies will continue to do their best in improving the security situation.