By Ibironke Ariyo
Abuja – Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has advised youths to rather than taking to drugs, they should apply their energies towards endeavours that would develop the country.
President of the organisation, Dr Hope Abraham, gave the advice at a sensitisation rally on drug abuse in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), organised by the NGO on Thursday in Abuja.
The sensitisation, which included road walk tagged “Say No to Drug Abuse and Election Violence” is to ensure that FCT is free of drug abuse and election violence, especially in the current political season.
Abraham said that the rally to stem the rising cases of drug abuse among youths in the country.
He said that the effects of drugs were there for people to see, adding that curbing the menace in Nigeria was a collective responsibility.
“I want to urge Nigerian youths not to be involved in any act of violence at this time; they should stay away from drugs and anybody that would want to use them to create chaos in the country.
“Election violence in any form, be it assassination or arson, should be strictly neglected,” he said.
Abraham urged the youths to be more vigilant and calm as the election season approached, adding that they should have the interest of the country at heart.
“The responsibility is on you to reject because illicit drug consumption is one of the easiest ways to destruction. Drug intake has no value to add to any life,’’ he stressed.
On his part, Mr Nduka Augustine, Staff Officer, Drug Demand Reduction, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), FCT Command, said that consumption of prohibited substances had become a serious challenge to the growth and development of the society.
“This programme today is a Public Enlightenment projecting education and raising awareness.
“Part of our mandate is to ensure demand and supply of drugs are reduced to the barest minimum.
“It is a good thing to know that the organisation has been working towards a drug free society by sensitising youths to drugs and its adverse effects,” he said.
Also, Mrs Ada Saraso, President, NYSC Drug Free Club, said that the club had been partnering NDLEA to ensure a drug-free society and engaging in road walk was a great move to curb the menace.
“We are not there yet. But, we won’t relent in ensuring information is passed across to every youth and drug peddlers in the country.
“VGADA has been playing a front row to ensure the public get to know about this.
“We, as a club will continue to partner NDLEA to combat drug abuse both in the FCT and in other parts of the country,” she said.
Saraso also urged the youth to act as agents of peace in their various communities to ensure free, fair and credible elections.