From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Cultism in schools is to blame for drug abuse, according to Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who called on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to be proactive in combating substance abuse.
Speaking in Umuahia at a one-day summit organised by the Abia State Ministry of Education to curb cultism in secondary and primary schools in the state, Governor Ikpeazu said that illicit drug abuse is at the bottom of every heinous crime.
Represented by his deputy, Ude Oko Chukwu, the governor noted that hitherto cultism had been associated with tertiary institutions, regretting that the menace has not only spread to secondary and primary schools but also to the streets.
‘At the bottom of every heinous crime, drug abuse is behind it and a drastic measure is needed to address the menace,’ Chukwu said, speaking for the governor.
‘Before now, cultism was only associated with tertiary institutions, but today it has not only gone to secondary and primary schools but equally gone to the streets of which something drastic should be done.’
He called agencies in the state to work in synergy with the government to curb the menace.
The Commissioner for Education, Dr Kanaelechi Nwangwa, partly blamed parents for putting too much of a strain on their children to perform well academically which he said in most cases lead some of them to join bad groups in order to excel.
He called for the retraining of primary and nursery schools teachers for them to inculcate the right morals on the pupils.
The state Coordinator, Abia State Safe School Programme (ASSSP), Nkwachukwu Nwafor, regretted that schools are becoming breeding grounds for cult gangs.
Nwafor said the solution to the problem posed by cultism lies in the union between education and orientation.