The Assistant State Commander, Operations and Training of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Imo State, Mr Lamuwa Shehu, on Wednesday urged Nigerian youths to stay away from abuse of drugs as it is dangerous to their health and to the growth of the society.
The Assistant State Commander stated this at a Summit in Owerri, Imo State capital.
He said that the NDLEA as a lead agency in control of the circulation and use of psycho-active drugs, has been carrying out the campaign against drug abuse in rural communities and schools.
He also said that the agency was collaborating with all relevant stakeholders in the fight against drug abuse.
According to him, in 2022 alone, the Command trained about 70 counsellors and school administrators in Owerri and its environs to assist in teaching young ones on the need to be watchful of their mental health by avoiding drugs.
He expressed confidence that the robust campaign the agency had carried out with the involvement of traditional leaders and religious bodies would further shape the future of young people and make them useful members of the society.
Also speaking, the Neo Black Movement (NBM) of Africa, a Non Governmental Organisation, has identified the departure from a lifestyle of drug abuse as critical to the socioeconomic development of youths.
The President, NBM Owerri zone, Chief Chidi Ordu, spoke on the theme: “Hard Drugs And Its Abuse: A Bane To Personal, Economic And Social Development”.
He said that the effects of drug abuse on the younger generation was inimical to their development hence the need for a paradigm shift to address the challenge.
He called on participants at the event to make use of the information received at the summit to better their future and to educate others on the dangers associated with the abuse of hard drugs.
“Drug abuse has reduced the productivity of young people and is affecting their economic lives, so we organised this summit to raise their consciousness on the need to avoid drug abuse.
“The decision to target students was strategic because they represent the young population of the country worst hit by drug abuse,” he said.