John Jonah, Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State has said the challenges posed by insecurity are caused by use of hard drugs amongst youth.
Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd) stated this on Monday, when members of Course 27 of the National Defence College (NDA), Jaji, Kaduna State, led by Deputy Commandant of the institution, Major-General Peter Dauke, visited him at the Government House, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
He described this year’s course theme, 'Youth Management and National Security' as apt, noting that youth under the influence of drugs like tramadol, codeine, marijuana among others were being used as tools to foment trouble and chaos in the society.
He tasked relevant authorities including the military, Police and other security agencies to adequately educate the citizenry on security challenges facing the nation.
He said: “The theme is apt. Security challenges in the country are getting more complicated and the ready tool for people to use are the youth, and if you are not able to understand and study what is happening to the youth, in most cases your estimate may never be correct.
"At the moment, the challenges are becoming more complex because of the ready use of drugs. There is rampant use of drugs by youth all over the country, not only in Bayelsa State.
"Those under the influence of drugs are the ones that you can easily mislead to behave in ways that they become nuisance to the community, and then crime rates will increase; they become less useful to themselves as well as the society.
"If you do not educate the people, security challenges will come up. The person who understands the implication of the action he is taking is less likely to be led astray than somebody, who has been given opportunity. So I am very happy that this particular year’s study has to do with the issue of security; a serious issue in our country today."
He enjoined members of Course 27 to be thorough and unbiased in their research in the state, and to give the government a detailed report to enable it improve on its developmental and structural policies and programmes.
Jonah expressed appreciation to the military forces for their sacrifices, commitment to national security and professional conduct and called on the Federal Government to provide the needed logistics for the military to enable them perform optimally.
He said: "For the participants, we wish you well. It is one of the best things that could happen to you; to pass through the Defence College. As a person who has been there before, if you take the course seriously, at the end of the day, you are no longer the same person.
"We expect your research to be thorough and unbiased. Tell us as it is, but let it be based on evidence so that as a state we will learn something from it, so that the state can improve as a result of your research here. That is the only way you can say you have impacted on society."
In his remarks, Dauke said the team was in Bayelsa State as part of its tour to study the role of youth in the society in terms of management and security.
He said that Course 27 comprised 130 participants and 17 allied participants from Brazil, Nepal and India.