Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Thursday advised Nigerian youths and school children against indulging in drug abuse.
AbdulRazaq gavd advice in Ilorin at a symposium organised to commemorate 2022 United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drugs Trafficking.
The event was organised in conjunction with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kwara Command, the state Drug Control Committee and Office of the State First Lady, Dr Olufolake AbdulRazaq.
Speaking on the theme: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises”, the governor appealed to young people to stay away from drug abuse and be good ambassadors of their families and the society.
“I thank the NDLEA, the government bodies and Office of the First Lady for putting this together. It clearly shows that the agency is alive to its responsibilities.
“The main message here today is say no to drug abuse. There is nothing good that comes out of illicit drugs.
“It destroys you as a person; it destroys your family and your communities, and it undermines the government,” he said.
AbdulRazaq noted that all tiers of government, national and sub-national, spend a lot of money on drug control.
“Governments spend billions on the NDLEA to make sure they work effectively,” he said.
He commended the leaderships of the agency at the federal and state levels for their proactive steps and campaigns against the abuse of drugs.
He pledged his continuous support for the NDLEA and other relevant bodies to check the crime and mitigate its effects in the society.
“We especially thank General Buba Marwa (rtd.) for the work he has being doing since he got in.
“We have seen a lot of changes and proactiveness. He has left a landmark from what it used to be, with his experience and the capacity brought to the agency.
“I equally commend the Corp’s Commander in the state for actively engaging key sectors to win the fight against drug abuse,” he added.
AbdulRazaq also commended traditional rulers in the state for their immense contributions to make their communities crime-free and the various companies that supported the event.
Dr Olufolake AbdulRazaq, the wife of the governor, said her office was involved in many activities and campaigns designed to curb drug abuse in the state.
Mrs AbdulRazaq, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razaq, charged parents and religious leaders to intensify their efforts to dissuade younger ones from drug misuse.
Prof. Baba Issa, the Acting Chief Medical Director of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Budo-Egba, said it would take concerted efforts of various stakeholders to rid the society of drug abuse.
Issa said government at all levels must intensify the ongoing anti-drug campaigns and take extra measures against the proliferation of shops that sell illicit substances.
“The effects of drug abuse are devastating and encouraged the addicts to do away with it, citing health hazards, financial crisis and criminal tendencies as major outcomes,” he said.
Also, Mr Nasir Yusuf, the state Chairman, Nigeria Youth Council of Nigeria, blamed poor parenting and nonchalance of some community leaders for the wrong exposure of youths to hard drugs.
Yusuf charged relevant stakeholders to play their parts at checking the trend.
He commended the efforts of the present administration in the state on youth engagement and how they are being empowered to fulfil their life dreams, saying the interest of youths are uniquely represented by AbdulRazaq.
Earlier in her welcome address, Mrs Barakat Olarewaju, the state Chairperson of Drug Control Committee, said that the committee comprised of multi-sectorial members for drug control.
According to her, the committee consists of NDLEA and other security organisations.
She added that the committee conduct sensitisation awareness creation, advocacy resource mobilisation for drug control activities, collation of all activities in response to drugs in the state and report same to the agency.