The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Former Governor Peter Obi, has identified, among other factors, bad governance, Nigeria’s economic woes, frustration and hopelessness as some of the factors fuelling drug abuse among the youths in the country.
Obi made the remarks in a Message to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. He lamented that many Nigerian youths were taking to drugs as escape from the harsh economic and political realities in the nation. He explained that if adequate measures are not put in place to arrest the ugly trend and combat the menace, the “leaders of tomorrow” will remain chained to substance abuse while the future of the nation continues to dim.
“Nigeria, today, has the highest drug abuse prevalence in the world. While the global average is 5.5%, Nigeria battles with 14.4% drug abuse prevalence. In 2021, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) found that 40 percent of youths aged between 18 and 35 were deeply involved in drug abuse. What is more painful is that substance abuse is higher among youths in their productive age. Accumulated leadership failure, over the years, in the country has continued to rob our youths of their bright future, thus deepening their addiction to substance abuse,” Obi stated.
While thanking the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for the good work they have been doing, Obi called on them and other relevant agencies to intensify their efforts against the ugly menace, and to continue with a widespread awareness on the dangers of drug abuse. He argued that the knowledge of the adverse effects of substance abuse will drastically reduce the scourge in the country.
Obi encouraged the youth to avoid all forms of substance abuse and focus on being productive and helping the country to grow, which can guarantee them a good livelihood and better future.
The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is celebrated on June 26.