..as NDLEA decorates her as WADA Ambassador, seeks partnership to curb menace
The wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has condemned the alarming consumption of hard substances among Nigerian youths, and called for concerted efforts to curb the menace.
Mrs Akeredolu who averred that the trend became unabated in this current dispensation, noted that a lot needed to be done beyond sensitisation to rescue the teeming youths from self-destruction.
She said this while playing host to officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, earlier in her office at the Government House ground, Alagbaka Akure, the State Capital.
According to her, idleness and joblessness were some of the major causes of the increased rate of drugs addiction among the youths, noting that the level of graduates unemployment in Nigeria called for concern.
The Ondo First Lady, emphasised the need to make the young minds productive, as a way to make them occupied mentally and physically.
She frowned at the rehabilitation approach of subjecting drug addicted victims to physical torture, citing Imo State Nkpumiri’s victims as an example.
Corroborating the stance of the NDLEA about constant sensitisation of the youths about the dangers inherent in drugs abuse, Mrs Akeredolu extended a hand of partnership NDLEA to be part of her BEMORE Empowered Initiative, through which participating girls would be enlightened on the intake of hard substances.
She also identified mothers as a major stakeholder in the fight against drug and hard substances usage among the youths, and advocated NDLEA sensitisation for women, starting from the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female Political Appointees (FOWOSO).
Speaking earlier, the State Commandant of NDLEA, Mr. Raji Mumini Kayode, had informed Her Excellency of the need for her, not only as a First Lady, but also a mother, to support the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), in Ondo State.
He informed Her Excellency of the directive given to all State Commands by NDLEA’s Chairman/CEO to partner Wives of Governors in the fight against drug abuse, and keep them abreast of its activities that are geared towards reducing drug abuse.
He hinted that drug abuse and illicit trafficking had gone beyond boundaries and no more limited to touts, but had entered every segment of the society, destroying the lives of the victims, gradually.
According to him, young minds of both genders were doing drugs, noting that NDLEA had discovered so many edible mixtures improvised by these youths, which parents were oblivion to its potency and capability of getting the consumer, mentally high.
Informing the First Lady about the alarming mental disorder cases recorded at the State’s Psychiatric hospital, which the attention of NDLEA was drawn to, the Commandant disclosed that almost 80% of such cases had been attributed to drug abuse.
“That’s why we felt that, the First Ladies, particularly you, going by your antecedents and previous roles in developmental and charity activities, would be a veritable ally in this War Against Drug Abuse and illicit trafficking”, he said.
The NDLEA Commandant who informed Mrs Akeredolu that WADA was launched last year by the NDLEA Chairman to wage war against the epidemic that is consuming humanity, through sensitisation and persuasion, lauded the Ondo government for being one of the few States that set up State’s Drug abuse committee.
The Ondo First Lady, was thereafter, decorated as WADA Ambassador.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
June 29 2022