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Eshew illicit drugs, NDLEA DG, urges youths - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

The Nigeria youths have been urged to avoid consumption of illicit drug substances in order not to compromise their bright future and jeopardizes their electoral choices, reports 
ITREALMS.

Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Brigdier-General Buba Marwa, made this call as the guest speaker at the 10th Anniversary Lecture of Realnews magazine and Publication Limited held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja-Lagos with the theme: Drug Abuse Among Youths in Africa: Implication for Nigerian Economy and 2023 Elections, last weekend.

He said, drug abuse among youths is an issue that cannot be ignored in today’s world because it is a growing concern for all countries and a problem area for humanity.

"With such a huge youth population, you can begin to think that the election in the country will be won by a “youth referendum,” he lamented.

Marwa decried that with so many youths involved in drug abuse, they could hardly make the kind of strong impact that people envisage, just as they cannot hold down a job, they also cannot exhibit prudent electoral choices or execute the civic duty of voting.

He said the dependency on illicit drug substances in the long run leads to the deterioration of users’ 
health.

"Drugs such as cocaine, heroin and crystal methamphetamine, aside from directly affecting the health of users, also place them at risk of other deadly diseases such as HIV and hepatitis because of the associated risky habit of injecting with needles," he said.

NDLEA Chairman also said, the abuse of psychoactive drugs has been attributed to the rise in mental health problems across the world.

Marwa tasked individuals, families and the society at large to rise and sensitize the youths on the dangers of drug abuse which has become a national phenomenon, requiring a proactive attention.

"The issues of drug abuse among our youths, we, the society needs to stand up against and I have no doubt in mind that once we applied ourselves collectively the whole society approach, we well get there" he said.

Chairperson of the occasion and Group Managing Director, Futureview Financial Services Limited, Mrs Elizabeth Ngozi Ebi, decried the extent of drug abuse among the youths, which is worrisome and called for collective solutions to eradicate the usage.

She proffered some solutions to include that families to watch over their wards, proper scrutiny/license of patent stores, job opportunities for the teeming youths, community participation, educational institutions at all levels should organise workshop, symposium, seminar to enlighten the students on dangers posed by drug substances.

Earlier in her welcome address, Publisher cum Editor of Realnews magazine, Ms Maureen Chigbo appreciated the guests and sponsors for making out time for the 10th anniversary lecture.

The publisher said the anniversary lecture series is Realnews contribution to nation building and development, thereby providing a forum for policy change-oriented discussion by professionals, scholars, technocrats and decision-makers on the way forward for the country and Africa in general.

Chigbo, who is also the President, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), cited the World Drug Report 2021 which showed drug users prevalence in Nigeria at 14.4 per cent, significantly higher than the global average.

"Globally, over 11million people are estimated to inject drugs, half of whom are living with Hepatitis C, opioids which continues to account for the largest burden of disease attributed to drug abuse" she said.

Some dignitaries at the 10th anniversary lecture and investiture into the Realnews Hall of Fame, included the Parish Priest, Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Otemuyi, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta and Lecturer in St. Albert Major Seminary Idowu-Offoran, Ogun State, Rev. Fr. David Kehinde Akala, former CEO of Newswatch Communications Limited and CEO of MayFive, Chief Ray Ekpu, founder SME Media Limited, Mr. Ted Iwere, Director, Operations at ITREALMS Media group, Lady Nkem Nweke, former Chairman, Lagos State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Lanre Arogundade, former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr Rueben Abati, among others.


Gbemi Omotoso/Editor 

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