Honourable Jude Idimogu, a lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 2, Adeosun Modupe, Deputy Commandant Narcotics of the Lagos State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and Adebayo Olasoju, executive chairman of the Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), have all warned about the dangers of drug abuse among youths.
Idimogu, who was the convener of the programme made the remark during the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA), 7th Annual Constituency Stakeholders Meeting with the theme, ‘Increasing Wave of Drug Abuse: A Threat to Nation Building’ which took place yesterday.
He pointed out that the passage of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps was aimed at ensuring the safety of all in the neighbourhood, control the prevalence of drug abuse amongst adults and youths, stressing that insecurity will continue if banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities are unchecked.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain maintained that drug abuse was fast becoming prevalent amongst adults, especially the youths, stressing that the devastating effects on the safety and progress of the society are alarming, even as he called on stakeholders, parents, teachers, students, school proprietors, religious organisations, social media influencers, professional bodies, the academia, civil society organisations, community leaders, to work with the government to curb the menace.
The lawmaker said, “Apart from its negative social effects such as violent crimes, disruption of the family, child abuse and neglect, as well as unemployment, drug abuse is associated with some other criminal behaviours such as gang formations, cultism, armed robbery, rape and other social disturbances.”
He added, “Experts have elaborated on the economic and health challenges attributed to social vices such as loss of job, out of school drop out, stealing and complicated health issues such as persistent nausea, and changes in appetite and weight loss, liver damage, seizures, stroke, mental confusion, memory loss and brain damage, and lung disease have far-reaching consequences on both government spending and public safety.”
The lawmaker assured that LAHA will continue to consider viable laws and policies that would enhance youth potential, like the “Law to amend the Lagos State Sports Commission Law 2015, which was passed recently”.
Adeosun said that drug abuse is a threat globally and has plagued public health, national stability, peace, security and economic development thereby making the task of nation-building difficult.
She called on the government to invest in research aimed at preventing drug abuse, create more employment, allocate more funds to drug-related agencies, place effective surveillance on Nigerian borders and encourage healthy practices and lifestyles among adolescents.
Olasoju, in his address, said that the rate of drug abuse is alarming, as its prevalent in people between the ages of 14 and 21 is shocking.
He urged youths to desist from abusing drugs since according to him, anything that is tagged, “Do not do it” has no advantage at all and should be resisted.