Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, has decried a report by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime in Nigeria, indicating that 14.4% of citizens aged between 15 and 64 years abuse drugs. This figure is significantly higher than the global average of 5.6%, NjenjeMediaNews reports.
The former Anambra State governor, in a statement on the occasion of the World International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, noted that the attendant health conditions from drug abuse are unimaginable, including an epidemic of mental health cases and incidents of suicidal behaviour among youth.
Obi also blamed leadership failure in the country, high rate of poverty and frustration, peer-group pressure among the youths and high rate of unemployment, amongst others, as factors fuelling drugs and substance abuse among the youths.
While praising the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for their tireless efforts in combating the drug abuse menace in the country, the Labour Party presidential candidate, in a statement via his verified Twitter handle on Monday, said more needs to be done by the government in rescuing the youths from a further slide into drug addiction.
He urged the government to take consistent actions to defeat the menace of drug abuse among the youths, and also not to stigmatize those who have fallen into drug addiction, but to put measures in place to prevent more people from getting caught in the deadly web.
Obi said that the New Nigeria must be anchored on the productivity of the country’s youth population, and that they must be free from all forms of drug abuse and trafficking in illicit substances. He also noted that the government must provide employment opportunities, access to quality education, and other social amenities to the youths in order to equip them with the necessary skills to be productive members of the society.
It is high time that the government takes the necessary steps to address the issue of drugs and substance abuse among the youths in the country. The future of the country is in the hands of the youths, and it is only right that we do all we can to ensure that they are safe and protected, and are not being exposed to the dangers of drug abuse.