In a stern warning to Nigerians, especially the younger generation, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has urged them to steer clear of drug abuse, emphasizing the grave consequences that it can have on their future and the shame it can bring upon their families.
Acknowledging the complexity of the challenges associated with drug abuse, the NDLEA stressed that these issues can be effectively addressed through the implementation of appropriate measures and policies.
Abubakar Wali, the Commander of NDLEA in Imo state, emphasized the importance of adopting a people-centred approach to drug policies. Wali highlighted the significance of human rights, compassion, and evidence-based practices in tackling the drug menace. Speaking at an inter-school competition organized by the agency in Owerri, as part of the activities commemorating the 2023 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Wali called on students to embrace the message of building a drug-free society and to become ambassadors for the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA).
“The drug problem is a complex issue that affects millions of people worldwide, including our young ones,” Wali stated. “Drug users often face stigma, which further exacerbates their psychological and mental health. We must approach this problem with empathy, combat stigma, raise awareness, and empower young people and communities in order to resolve the issue.”
Lamuwa Shehu, the Assistant State Commander of Operations and Training at the NDLEA, stressed the importance of realistic prevention strategies, including refraining from the use of illicit drugs, as a means to mitigate potential complications. Shehu also condemned all forms of stigma against drug users and urged the general public to seek help from qualified professionals when dealing with drug abuse issues.
During the event, Mrs. Patricia Okwatibe, a representative of Evergreen Pharmaceuticals in Orlu, shared valuable insights. She advised pharmaceutical outlets to strictly adhere to the requirement of a doctor’s prescription for drug administration, as a way of reducing the prevalence of drug abuse.
The inter-school competition, which aimed to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of drug abuse, witnessed participation from various schools in the region. Emekuku High School, Owerri City College, Young Scientists College, Owerri, Imo Government Girls Secondary School, Emmanuel College, Owerri, Government Technical College, Owerri, and Santa Maria Secondary School, Assah were among the schools that participated in the event.
The NDLEA’s proactive stance in organizing this inter-school competition highlights its commitment to cultivating a drug-free society by engaging and educating young individuals. The agency’s multifaceted approach to addressing drug abuse, encompassing prevention, awareness, and community empowerment, ensures a holistic strategy that tackles the issue at its roots.
As drug abuse continues to pose a significant threat to Nigerian society, the NDLEA’s efforts serve as a beacon of hope. By instilling knowledge, empathy, and resilience among the youth, the agency aims to build a generation equipped to combat the drug menace head-on. Through sustained educational initiatives, collaborations with stakeholders, and the implementation of effective policies, the NDLEA remains dedicated to ending drug abuse and its detrimental consequences.
In conclusion, the NDLEA’s call to action against drug abuse signifies a crucial step towards a healthier and brighter future for Nigeria’s youth. By addressing the complex challenges associated with drug abuse and emphasizing people-focused solutions, the agency aims to secure a society free from the devastating impact of substance misuse. It is vital for everyone, from policymakers to individuals, to support and actively contribute to these efforts, ensuring a safer and more prosperous Nigeria for generations to come.