By Olasunkanmi Onifade
Bridge and Bond Development Initiative, an NGO, on Saturday cautioned motorcyclists and petty traders on the dangers associated with abuse of drugs and substances.
The Lead Director of the NGO, Mr Festus Onifade said this during a sensitisation awareness campaign walk against drug and substance abuse in Lugbe suburb in Abuja.
Onifade said drug abuse was one of the top problems confronting the nation especially among the youths, saying incidences of drug abuse and related anti-social behaviour have tremendously increased in recent years.
“The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in collaboration with National Agency for Food Drugs and Administration (NAFDAC) must put in place more punitive measures to check the proliferation of drugs in the country.
“In addition, another way to eradicate drug abuse in the country is to educate parents, especially women, on the dangers of youths engaging in such acts because through parents, children will no doubt learn early enough to steer clear of drug abuse.
“This has become a matter of concern to the government, parents, teachers, Non-Governmental Organisations and all other relevant agencies,” Onifade said.
He said the campaign against drug and substance abuse should be done regularly, saying that it would serve as a reminder to those in the communities.
“The choice of Lugbe for sensitisation is strategic to us, as our attention is more on the `Okada riders’ (motorcyclists) and petty traders.
“About 70 to 80 per cent of those who reside in Lugbe use `Okada’ (motorcycle) as their means of transportation.
“The drug and substance abuse is common among them which increases the rate of crimes and accidents in the community,” Onifade said.
He said the crimes and accidents could be avoided if such people were properly sensitised on the dangers of drug and substance abuse to their health.
Onifade, however, called on government at all levels to invest and be more committed to community outreaches to reduce the prevalence of drug abuse users in the country.
He said many of the youth in the country need proper monitoring by their parents and guardians as well as avoidance of children hawking, adding that family values had been eroded due to the embrace of western culture.
The Public Relations Officers(PRO) of the NGO, Mr Biodun Adeleke said drug abuse was a platform in which crime was been committed, adding that more still needs to be done.