A significant percentage of youths from 16 years and above have taken to hemp smoking in Effium autonomous community in Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi State.

The development has led to increase in crime rate, social ills and above all, increase in school dropout rates.

Community leaders in a meeting have now ordered the dealers in the illegal substance to quit from the business or face their wrath.

His Royal Highness, HRH, Ezego Ogbaji Emmanuel Ekwueme, noted that the community had witnessed a high rate of crime ranging from robbery, rape, and even killing among the youths who were misguided in the community.

He said if the dealers refuse to quit, community leaders would be forced to report to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the Police.

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“The essence of this meeting is to let our youths know that we are not happy with some of them, who are smokers of hemp and other hard drugs.

“This dangerous substance with its effects has caused us a lot of damage in this community. There is now an increase in crime rate. If it is not night robbery, it is cultism, or that someone was killed.

“It is a pity that our children have all taken to hemp smoking. We now have large number of students that have dropped out of school. I wonder what the future holds for us if we continue like this.

“I want to tell all the dealers of hemp in this community, that from today 16th of July to the 23rd of July, I shall liase with the police, and other security agencies to ensure that these dealers are arrested and prosecuted.

“I am urging all the youths leaders from the seven villages to be up and doing, and report issues of crime to security agents, especially as we approach the 2019 election,” he told Bounce News.

Speaking on behalf of the youths, Issac Ibeh assured that they would not hesitate to report issues of crime to relevant government agencies.

“We are assuring you that we shall collaborate with the traditional ruler to ensure that the dealers on the illegal substance, if they fail to comply, are fished out after the seven days ultimatum,” he pledged.

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