A Lagos lawmaker, Hon. Rasheed Makinde, on Thursday, called on governments, stakeholders, parents , school owners, religious organisations, celebrities and social media influencer to show more concern to safeguard Nigerian youths.
Makinde, a two-term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency II, made the call at the 7th Annual Constituency Stakeholders’ Meeting held in the constituency.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting simultaneously holding in all the 40 constituencies in the state, was tagged “Increasing Wave of Drug Abuse: A Threat to Nation Building”.
Makinde said that the meeting was aimed at sensitising residents, parents, teachers, students, religious organisations, professional bodies, academia, civil society organisations, community leaders and individuals on disturbing trend of drug abuse in the society.
He said that meeting was also to sensitise all on the danger drug abuse portends for the youths and the collective existence of Nigeria, urging residents to stay away from hard drugs.
“The matter has long been a source of grave concern to the leadership and members of the House for which the House has exhaustively debated and passed various resolutions to address same.
“Drug Abuse has been identified to have diverse and devastating effects on the safety and progress of the society.
“Apart from its negative social effects such as violent crimes, disruption of the family, child abuse and neglect, as well as unemployment, it has been associates with some other criminal behaviours such as gang formatio me, cultism, armed robbery, rape and other social disturbances.
“There are also the economic and health effects such as loss of job, dropping out of school, stealing, and complicated health issues such as persistent nausea, changes in appetites and weight loss, liver damage, seizures, stroke, mental confusion, memory loss and brain damage, and lung diseases.
“All these have far-reaching consequences on both government spending and public safety. Let us remember that our youths are our future and we must show more concern about their welfare,”Makinde said.
According to him, there is a nexus between the menace of drug abuse and the rising violent crimes such as kidnapping, banditry, insurgency and wanton destruction not lives and property currently plaguing the country.
He said that nation building was not only about establishment of structure and recreation facilities but ensuring human development, safety and sanity of all, nurturing, building and protecting the younger generation.
Makinde, who decried societal decadence, failure of parents and school institutions, called on the law enforcement agency to stand tall in the fight against hard drugs.
Earlier, Mr Hammed Tijani, the Executive Chairman of Ojokoro Local Council Development Area (LCDA), who commended Makinde for facilitating various road construction and rehabilitation, said that the council would intensify sensitisation against drugs.
Tijani, who noted that the stakeholders’ meeting would address salient issues concerning the people across the constituency, also applauded Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to bring development to every part of the state.
Also, Speaking, Oba Riliwan Taiwo, the Oba of Ojokoro, who said that the high rate of unemployment had increased the use of drugs among the youth, urged the government and the law enforcement agencies to work hard to curb the hard drugs.
The Oba, who was represented by High Chief Fawemimo Ajanaku, noted that an idle hands remained the devil’s workshop, saying many youths had taken to internet frauds and hard drugs because of unemployment.
He urged the government to step up censorship of music and movies and other activities by celebrities endangering the future of the youths.
Another, Prince Bolarinwa Sarumo-Dada, Baale of Alakuko Ajegunle I’ll, in Ojokoro, described drug abuse among youths as one of the factors drawing the Nigeria’s backward among the comity of nation’s, saying drugs would had prevented them from contributing to nation’s building.
“This affect our society and economic development. Let parents take care of their children. Let the government regulatory bodies to their jobs in preventing the movement of drugs into the country,” Bolarinwa said.
The event, which had in attendance various political leaders, market groups, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the area, featured the airing of a documentary on the effect of the drug abuse.