Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Tuesday, said his administration was deploying different strategies and investing in people-oriented programmes that encourage young people to follow noble paths and avoid drug abuse and other social vices in the state.
The governor said this while speaking in Ilorin at the first Kwara Stakeholders Summit on Drug Abuse Prevention and Control, which was themed “Forging a Common Front in the Fight against Drug Abuse”.
The governor, represented by the state Commissioner for Social Development, Afolashade Opeyemi, said the session was designed to interact, examine, and make attempts at proffering solutions to the social problem.
“We understand that drug abuse has different roots, including idleness and lack of direction in life. It is for this reason that we are deploying different strategies to prevent crimes.
“Our investments in people-oriented interventions in the past four years are designed to create the enabling environment where our youths are gainfully engaged and involved in productive endeavors.
“The establishment of the Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, Garment Factory, Film Factory, Shea Butter Factory, continuous support for the IVTEC, Kwapreneur, and overwhelming support for youth development are meant to achieve similar purposes,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement signed by his Deputy spokesman, Mashood Agboola.
He added that the multi-pronged approaches his government deploys are yielding positive results.
On her part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Citizenship and Leadership, Ms Rinsola Abiola, said the disturbing rate of substance abuse in the country requires that all hands must be on deck to tackle the challenge by reducing its prevalence among young people.
According to her, drug abuse is not only closely linked to severe health risks and risky behaviour, but also hinders abusers from contributing meaningfully to national development.
“A lot of young people, especially those who have creative talents, claim that cannabis helps them to concentrate and be creative. But what they don’t understand is that 80 percent of psycho-cases related to drug abuse actually come about as a result of using cannabis,” she said, calling for constant sensitisation of drug addicts and young people on the attendant consequences of their act.
“They also mention that cannabis improves appetite and concentration. But that is in the early stage because the effect it has later on tends to be disastrous,” she added.
She commended the efforts of the governor in combating the social vice through different strategies, saying his office is open to collaboration with the state government to collectively stem the tide of drug abuse in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
Meanwhile, First Lady Oluremi Tinubu, on Monday, charged state governments to prioritise the fight against drug abuse to ensure a safe and secure society.
The charge was given on Monday in Abuja, at the opening ceremony of a two-day training on Drug Prevention Treatment and Care, organised by the NDLEA for spouses of state governors.
“We must recognise that drug abuse is not just a law enforcement issue but a public health crisis that requires a compassionate and multi-faceted response. We must challenge the stigma and discrimination associated with addiction, and foster a culture of empathy, understanding and solidarity towards those struggling with substance use disorders.
“As mothers, we understand the profound impact that drug abuse can have on our children’s lives. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to protect, nurture, and guide them toward a future free from the shackles of addiction. As leaders in your respective states, you wield a unique platform to drive meaningful change,” the First Lady said.
Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines