The Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, on Saturday expressed concern over the increased rate of drug abuse among youths, saying only a community-based approach would tackle the menace in Nigeria.
The legislator expressed these feelings during sensitization march against drug abuse
organised by the Magodo Residents Association (Valley View Zone) in Lagos.
The event which took place at its secretariat of the zone had in attendance the residents and advocacy groups united in the fight against drug abuse.
Other personalities at the event include the chairman of the Valley View Zone Residents Association, Olatunji Solarin; Guest Speaker, Dr. Dokun Adedeji and National Coordinator of Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM), who also spoke extensively on the prevalence of drug abuse and ways to prevent it in the society.
Ashafa said, “The scope of drug abuse has now transcended beyond popular narcotics and alcohol, youngsters have also found refuge in the abuse of over the counter and prescription pills/medications at an alarming rate.
“This nagging concern inspired me to sponsor a motion on the floor of the senate on “Nigerians involvement in illicit Global Drug Trade and increase in Domestic Abuse by Nigerian Youths” and “A Bill for the amendment of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act”. These legislative interventions seek to ensure that we overcome the menace of drug abuse in Nigeria.”
He however expressed optimism in the community-based effort in tackling drug abuse in Nigeria.
“I am even more optimistic in the fact that Charity begins at home. I therefore call on all parents, guardians and caregivers to educate our children on the ills of drug abuse. We must also pay closer attention to the habits being picked up by our children and wards not only as a family but also as a community.
“We must be ready to inform our neighbours of whatever strange mannerisms we notice in each-others children because community effort is a more effective means of preventing the spread and continuity of Drug Abuse. My advice therefore is to remind us that in Africa, “it takes a whole community to train a child.”
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