Lagos – Mrs Bolanle Ambode, wife of the governor of Lagos State, on Thursday advised youths to take charge of their lives and make commitment to resist the use of illicit drugs and substances.
According to her, being focused on this commitment will enable them live decent lives as well as achieve their dreams and aspirations.
The governor’s wife gave the call at the “Flag-Off Ceremony of the Lagos State Kicks Against Drug Abuse (LASKADA)’’ in Lagos.
LASKADA, an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Youths and Social Development is a campaign against drug abuse in the state.
She said: “Youths, always know that the future is in your hands.
“Though parents and government will do their best, a lot depends on your own personal commitment to live decent social life, driven by big dreams and aimed at success.
“The choices you make now will ultimately affect your future; remember addiction is a lifelong battle, do not start at all.
“Endeavour to choose right, it is about self discipline.”
The governor’s wife tasked parents on responsible parenting.
“We cannot pretend that all is well in the society, considering the unwholesome attitude of many youths to drug use.
“The scale and frequency of use has become a matter of concern that must be urgently addressed and vigorously tackled.
“The responsibility of winning youths from drugs should not be left to government alone; the parents have a big role to play in all these because charity begins at home.
“Remember that all the youths are members of some families; they were children before they became youths.
“It is relevant that we ask ourselves how well we did our parenting responsibility and redouble our efforts, to get a great future for the children and for our society,’’ she said.
Ambode’s wife appealed to mothers to continue to pay due diligence to their children and be more observant to their plights.
“It is a fact that some children, who now indulge in drug abuse were influenced by their peers at home or in school.
“With this, we must make it a duty to know the kind of company and friends our children keep.
“As I always say, parents should learn to earn the confidence of their children, so that they can always confide in them and run to them in time of need without fear,’’ she said.
The governor’s wife urged LASKADA to continue in their efforts to achieve a saner society.
According to her, the LASKADA initiative must be sustained and cascaded to every nook and cranny of Lagos and across all institutions of learning from primary school to the tertiary institutions.
Also, Mr Keji Hamilton, a Cocaine Addict Survival, said that part of the causes of drug abuse included the break down in the Nigerian’s educational system.
According to him, lack of proper supervision and engagement predisposes students to idleness and being vulnerable to peer pressure.
Hamilton also said unemployment and harsh economic conditions contributed to the reasons why youths got involved in drugs.
“We ask the government to address the emotional state of the youths and build more and equipped rehabilitation centres to correct and give assistance to affected youths.
“ The government must work hard to fight this menace facing our youths today to save their lives from ruin and destruction,’’ Hamilton said.
Dr Dokun Adedeji the Guest Speaker at the ceremony, also called on parents to be more vigilant and show concern in their children and wards.
He said that any change in behaviour should be easily detected and given prompt intervention.
“Drug is an issue that has multidimensional consequences; we need to tackle the issue of drug abuse in the country, that way, many crimes will be eliminated.
“We must all say No to Drug Abuse,’’ he said.