By Yemisi Ajayi, Ibadan
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has urged stakeholders including parents to work together and adopt pragmatic policies to curb the spare of drug abuse among Nigerian children and youths.
Ajimobi who was represented by state Head of Service, Mrs Amidat Agboola, made the call on the occasion of the 2019 National Children’s Day. The theme for the year is tagged: “Drug Abuse among Children: Addressing the Challenges”.
Ajimobi said that the introduction and implementation of policies and strategies aimed at tackling the menace of drug abuse would help children attain their full potential.
“The theme for this year is deliberate in the view of the disturbing reports concerning the increasing rate of drug abuse among children and the youths.
“It is indeed worrisome to note that some of our children who engage I. This unwholesome act now experience mental health challenges and have engage in violent activities.
“As stakeholders, we are desirous of building a better future for our children because they are our legacy.
“If we allow drugs and other social vices to destroy our children today, we are destroying not only our future but also that of the country, “ he said.
Ajimobi also called on parents to monitor the activities of their children and ensure the children keep good company to avoid negative peer pressure. The governor also tasked the children to steer clear of abusive and addictive substances and have respect for your parents.
In her remarks, the Supritendent of Narcotics, Oyo Command of the NDLEA
Commander, Temitope Ashiriyimu, said that drug abuse among children is a problem that is causing serious concern to both individuals and government in the country.
“The problem of drug abuse is prevalent among adolescents who in most cases are ignorant about the dangers inherent in drug abuse.
“Many of them engaged in drug abuse out of frustration, poverty, lack of parental supervision, peer influence and pleasure. “Drug abuse among adolescents have contributed to the number of youths that are incarcerated and also to insurgency.
“Abusive and addictive substances is no respecter of age, social status and profession,” she said.
Ashirimiyu identified tobacco, alcohol, inhalants and cannabis sativa as examples of abusive substances.
She said side effects of drug abuse include liver cirrhosis, pancreatic, peptic ulcer, tuberculosis, sleeplessness, mental retardation and neurological disorder.
According to her the menace can be tackled through effective counseling and public sensitisation.
She called on stakeholders including parents and relevant agencies to collaborate with the agency in the fight against drug abuse to guarantee a better future for the children.