Implementation of SDGs, key to ending cultism and drug abuse” – group 

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By Aluzu Ebikebuna Augustine
A non-for-profit organization in Bayelsa state have said implementation of the sustainable development goals is key to ending the current security challenges bedeviling the state. The group made this known while briefing newsmen in yenagoa, the state capital.
Izonfest which is a registered non-for-profit organization and an avid promoter of tourism and the sustainable development goals says plans are underway to host the Izon Nation to a staunch display of traditional sporting activities to give fresh life to izon traditional sports activities that can become forms of positive engagement and empowerment for  economic development in the tourism sector annually.
According to the President Izonfest, Mr. Aniso Abraham esq. the organization in partnership with Patriotism Advancement and Community Orientation Network is currently cementing relationship with the Bayelsa State Ministry of Youth as well as Tourism to ensure a seamless presentation this year. He said “this is the third edition and the games are to be carried out using youth participants from secondary schools and other communities to further promote the campaign against cultism and drug abuse in the state, as a follow-up to the campaign started by PACON early this year. 
Lectures are to be carried out in the course of the program on the development of the Niger Delta through educating the youths on the SDGs and the Shell ‘We are Sorry Niger Delta’  campaign.” He said.
The games to be featured are traditional games including street carnival, canoe race, traditional wrestling, traditional dances, masquerade and Regatta displays, teen fashion, games and art exhibitions, storytelling/literature, awards and gala night noting that participants will win both cash prizes and gift items.
The group believes that one of the ways of combating the rise of cultism as well as drug and substance abuse in the state is through the promotion of the SDG goals. Hon. Promise Olozulu, Head of Community Relations,  Izonfest comfirms that arrangements are currently ongoing with the planning committee to ensure that they drive home the need for government to implement the SDGs as a means of ending cultism, crime, and drug abuse in the state. He said “the incidence of cultism and drug abuse in Bayelsa state is on the rise. This is a direct result of failure of the government to end poverty and inequalities.
The Convener, PACON, Mr. Aluzu Augustine says the event will go a long way to reaffirmed the stance of the organization in the campaign against cultism and drug abuse in the state, and that this time, the organization wants to go a step further by introducing the public to the United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) as international standard for positive development that can touch the life of everyone at the same time if successfully implemented.
He noted that the 17 goals were specially designed to ensure every human on earth has a comfortable life urging  relevant stakeholders, business, brand owners and institutions in the state to key into the event and take advantage of the celebration every year, because this idea will promote business development and marketing because of the large number of expected visitors and tourists that would grace the occasion from far and near “the Bayelsa state government should create the necessary enabling environment for the project as it will form a strong platform for culture orientation and social integration for the development of the state.” He said

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