By Felicia Imohimi
Dr. Godwin Abonyi, the immediate Past President of Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) has urged African Students
Union Parliament (ASUP) to lead in the fight against drug abuse.
Abonyi gave the advice when the parliament bestowed the Pan African Prize for Excellence Award on him on Thursday in Abuja.
He said youths were the most vulnerable group to drug abuse.
He urged the parliament to intensify efforts at sensitising their fellow students on the inherent dangers of drug abuse.
He blamed the prevalence of vices on drug abuse, adding that youths under the influence of drug engage in one ill or the other, thereby ruining their future.
He added that “if such problems are not well addressed on time, it will go as far as having psychological effect on youths.
“The fight against drug abuse could only be won through collaborative efforts of the youth, the regulatory bodies, and law enforcement agencies like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), among others.”
Abonyi identified NDLEA as key in ending the menace, being the custodian of preventing the inflow of drugs into the country.
Reacting to the parliament decision to partner with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to curb the prevalence of drug abuse among youths, he urged the young men and women to assist government.
He added that “in spite of NDLEA’s role in curbing drug abuse in the country, it is not adequately empowered to effectively carry out its mandates.”
Mr Abel Okewul, the Speaker of the parliament presenting the “Pan African Prize for excellence award” to Abonyi, decried the numerous damage of drug abuse on youths.
He said that some have deviated from the abuse of some conventional drugs to sniffing of substances like pampers, among others.
The speaker emphasised that the parliament, consisting of students from 54 member countries, had been in the vanguard of propagating against harmful effects of substance abuse among youths, as well as soliciting the support of Abonyi in the crusade.
Okewul said that the dream of building a better society was sacrosanct and tedious, adding that it could be perfectly achieved
through collective and collaborative efforts of well meaning meaning people.
He assured that the union would always be in the vanguard of projecting and engaging in activities that would bring pride and honour to everyone associated with them.
The speaker identified the term of reference for conferring the honour on Abonyi to include selfless leadership style that was worthy of emulation, hard work and dedication to duty, community and human capital development.
Others included charity to the less privileged and high administrative prudence.