Take anti-drug campaigns to rural areas – Lawyer tasks NGOs




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Mr Taiwo Idris, an Ilorin-based legal practitioner, has urged stakeholders and health related NGOs to extend their anti-drug campaigns to rural areas of the country.
Making the appeal in Ilorin on Saturday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Idris said most campaigns against drug abuse had been targeted towards youths in urban centres.
According to him, most NGOs have only focused on the major cities in the country and forget to sensitise the youths in remote areas.
“Drug abuse syndrome is escalating speedily in the country. It is rampant everywhere, both in the rural areas and cities. Why is the focus mainly on the youths in the cities?
“It is common everywhere. All eyes are on the city. All the anti-drug programmes are being organised in the city. The youths in the rural areas also indulge in the act.
“Health stakeholders and NGOs must wake up and extend their campaign to rural settings. Kindly extend your network to rural areas to save their lives,” he urged.
The lawyer described drug abuse as dangerous to health, which should be discouraged in any society.
He said the youths were getting addicted to sniffing and taking hard drugs which was harmful to their health.
“Youths are taking alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cocaine and opioids for fun which are very harmful to health.
“It baffles me a lot when I see that all types of psychoactive substances are available in Nigeria. Those drugs are silent killers that must be avoided,” he said.
He, however, called on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to re-strategise on how to reach rural areas in Nigeria.
Idris also called on journalists and NGOs to sensitise the public on the dangers of drug misuse via write-ups and sensitisation programmes.
Besides, the legal practitioner advised the youths to desist from the act and plan for their future, warning that drug abuse will ruin their lives.
He also called on parents to be watchdogs and stop harbouring their children’s rude behaviour by reporting them to appropriate authorities or security agencies whenever they do wrong.

(NAN)