The Eze Ndigbo Foundation, a humanitarian organisation fighting poverty in Africa, has announced that it plans to establish a model drug rehabilitation centre in Ghana within the next two to three years.
“For the next two to three years, God willing, it will be a reality,” Eze Dr Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu, the King of the Igbo Community in Ghana said.
He added: “We’re negotiating to partner with already existing rehabilitation centres, and set up this model centre in Ghana, and possibly elsewhere in Africa, to absorb people who have been weaned of drugs, train them in vocational skills and integrate them into the society.”
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, at the Ndieze Obiezioku Palace at East Legon, in Accra, the King re-emphasised the need for the youth and the larger society to stay away from illicit drugs and trafficking to avoid further damages and consequences.
The interview was a follow up to a road march in Accra, in May this year by the Igbo community in Ghana, with the support of the Ndieze Obiezioku Palace, as part of a campaign launched earlier in the year, drawing attention to the evils wrought by drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
Eze Dr Ihenetu said the establishment of the model rehab centre was part of a comprehensive programme by the foundation in its campaign and activities to help solve the problem of drug abuse and re-establish ex-drug addicts for gainful employment.
He gave assurance that the foundation would train in areas as soap making, leatherworks, barbering and tailoring among others and provide the trainees with tools to start up their businesses.
The Igbo Community, the King said, would celebrate the Yam Festival, this year on September 17, and the foundation and other stakeholders were busy planning for the day.
As the day approached, the King said he would continue to use every available platform to campaign against illicit drug use and trafficking beyond Ghana and beyond.
He said the march would be replicated in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Eze Dr Ihenetu repeated his call on drug barons to channel their resources into other areas that are more beneficial to the society.
In connection with this year’s World Drug Day, celebrated on 26 on the theme “People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention,” Eze Dr Ihenetu noted that “stigma is one of the things that destroy people.”
He said: “…The stigma destroys their morale, more especially those that have stopped it, especially those that are out of it with a sincere heart.
“They may feel isolated and not come near people. So, when society sees those that are repented, they should not insult them over it.”
The King called on governments to empower the private sector, with particular attention to the agricultural sector, to create value chain businesses for more employment opportunities.
He advised drug barons and traffickers that their affecting may be negatively affecting their own children and the youth, who would form future generations and urged them to channel their resources into areas of human development.
Eze Dr Ihenetu urged parents to continue to talk to their children about the consequences of drug abuse.
Equally, teachers, education institutions and religious leaders and the mass media should take up the campaign and protect the youth.
“We’ll continue to be a strong voice for this campaign, voice of the voiceless, to bring about positive change,” the King assured.
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