NEDC trains 150 youths against drug abuse in Gombe
By Hajara Leman
The North-East Development Commission (NEDC) Education Endowment Fund (EEF) has trained 150 youths on sensitisation against drug abuse in Gombe State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was a train-the-trainer workshop aimed to motivate the youths to serve as catalysts for drug abuse prevention campaign in society.
Speaking at the closing ceremony on Monday in Gombe, the Managing Director of NEDC, Alhaji Muhammad Goni, said drug abuse was the major cause of crimes in society.
Goni, who was represented by the Director, Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sa’adatu Shehu, said the influx of illicit drugs in the North-East region had supported terrorism and other nefarious activities.
He said that the recent survey by some organisations revealed that drug abuse was prevalent among undergraduates, secondary school students, commercial bus drivers and sex workers, among others.
According to him, some of the reasons for the drug abuse include physical performance, stress, poor socio-economic factors and low educational background.
“This negative impact of drug abuse on public health underscores the need for all hands to be on deck to tackle the challenge,’’ he said.
The state Commander of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr Okechukwu Nkere, underscored the need for youths to resist any attempt by politicians to entice them with drugs to perpetrate violence during elections.
“Since Nigeria returned to democracy, her elections have been characterised by widespread violence with youths as the major actors in the theatre of electoral violence in the country,’’ Nkere said.
Earlier, the Programme facilitator, Mr David Folaranmi, said the aim of the programme was to reduce the rate of substance abuse in Gombe and the entire North Eastern states.
“The prevalence of drug use in the region is high with nearly 35 per cent of youth involved in drug abuse,’’ he said.
Hajiya Asama’u Mohammed, the Chairperson, Board of Trustees of NEDC, represented by retired AVM Mohammed Mohammed, said the programme would counsel the youths against illicit drugs as well as transforming their lives to become good citizens.
She commended the NDLEA for the war against drugs abuse aimed at ensuring a drug free society.