The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has begun campaign against social vices, including rape, cultism, violence and drug abuse, in tertiary institutions in the South-east region of the country
Garba Abari, the director-general of the agency, disclosed this on Tuesday at the commencement of the campaign in Echara, Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Mr Abari, represented by the agency’s Director in Ebonyi, Desmond Onwo, said the programme known as “Campus Focus” was for reorientation of students on need to curtail such vices.
He said the emphasis on tertiary institutions was supported by the fact that youth contributed over 60 per cent of the labour force, which drove the process of governance and social-development.
According to him, this is a continuous nationwide sensitisation campaign aimed at attitudinal reorientation of students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“The agency has, over the years, implemented the same in over 50 higher institutions across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“The programme has become highly imperative due to the myriads of vices that have bedeviled the Nigerian tertiary institutions,” he said.
Mr Abari listed the vices to include cultism, sexual and gender violence, rape, examination malpractices and alarming trend of suicide amongst students.
He described youths as the strength of any nation and noted that the sensitisation was important in the fight against all forms of social vices in the country.
“NOA objectives is to reawaken the consciousness of students of tertiary institutions on the need to embrace our national core values.
“It is to curtail the rising trend of social vices in higher schools,” he explained.
Benedict Mbam, a professor and the provost, Ebonyi College of Education, Ikwo, commended NOA on the programme and pledged support in the nation’s efforts in curtailing crimes.
Mr Mbam, represented by his deputy, Francis Azunku, described the state of insecurity in the country as worrisome and urged students to take advantage of the programme and make good use of it.
Chukwuma Nwali, president of the Student Union Government of the college thanked NOA for choosing their school for the campaign.
“We are happy to witness and participate in the programme. It is a welcome development. I urge every student to support the national values and stay clear of criminality in Ebonyi, South-east and Nigeria at large,” Mr Nwali said.