LAGOS State government on Tuesday said it will leave no stone unturned in its effort to dissuade youths in the state from engaging in drug abuse, disclosing that it had concluded plans to stage a 1,000-man walk against the scourge and raise awareness on its inherent danger especially among youths who are prime victims of the bad practice.
This was just as the state government said it sought to collaborate with stakeholders, including parents, youths, professional bodies such as Pharmacists, NDLEA, psychiatrists, traditional medicine board, patent medicine sellers, NURTW, Tricycle and Okada riders in fighting the menace.
The State’s Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Agboola Dabiri, said this at a press briefing which took place at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Ikeja, declaring that drug abuse is real and nobody should fold his or her arms and watch the scourge continue.
This is coming ahead of the launch of a rigorous and renewed campaign under the acronym, “Lagos State Kicks against Drug Abuse (LASKADA).”
According to Dabiri, the campaign, which will ensure no stone was left unturned by the state government to discourage youths from engaging in drug abuse, will adopt a tripod approach, including events, engagements with stakeholders and awareness campaign, adding that it would be flagged off by a 1,000 man symbolic walk against drug abuse in the State.
He said the walk, which will hold on Thursday, June 21, would commence from Ikeja Bus Stop- under the bridge and would terminate at the Blue Roof, LTV, Agidingbi, where the official launch of LASKADA would take place.
The commissioner listed participants to include students, members of voluntary organizations, sportsmen and women, members of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), local government and youth representatives, local youth council representatives, faith-based organisations, government functionaries, among others.
“What we want to do on Thursday is to launch this campaign and show that we are ready for war against all forms of drug abuse. Once we launch out, we are going to have series of activities on various platforms and we will employ every avenue to ensure that the campaign gets to the nook and cranny in the state,” he said.
Dabiri added that the campaign would also involve a stakeholders’ sensitization session to deliberate on the menace and proffer likely intervention to tackle the issue holistically,
“The stakeholders will include parents, youths, professional bodies include Pharmacists, NDLEA, psychiatrists, traditional medicine board, patent medicine sellers, NURTW, Tricycle and Okada riders unions and a communiqué will be issued at the end of the session,” he said.
According to Dabiri, the campaign train will also move to primary, secondary and higher institutions as well as to the communities, adding that it would be implemented in collaboration with the Lagos State Youth Ambassadors, Lagos State Youth Parliament and NGOs in their immediate community.
Besides, he said that mosques, churches and faith-based organizations would be implored to dedicate a day to enlighten worshippers on drug abuse and canvass support for the fight against the menace.
“The youth group is the largest population in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State and this segment is considered the most vulnerable group as far as drug and alcohol issues are concerned.
“Thus, their health and optimal development is critical to national development agenda and deserves significant attention. Drug abuse is real and we should not fold our arms and watch the scourge continue, partner with us and let’s all say ‘No to Drug Abuse,” Dabiri said.