The Bridge and Bond Development Initiative, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on youths, especially okada riders and petty traders to desist from all forms of abuse of substances adding that the disadvantages of such act is too dangerous to be toyed with.
The Lead Director of the NGO, Mr Festus Onifade stated this during a sensitisation and awareness campaign walk against drug and all forms of substance abuse in Lugbe, a suburb of Abuja.
He said the campaign against drug and substance abuse should be done regularly, as this will serve as a reminder to those who are into abuse of substances, the dangers associated with it.
Onifade said drug abuse was one of the top problems confronting the nation especially among the youths, saying incidences of drug abuse and related anti-social behaviour have tremendously increased in recent years.
“The choice of Lugbe for sensitisation is strategic to us, as our attention is more on the `Okada riders’ (motorcyclists) and petty traders.
“About 70 to 80 per cent of those who reside in Lugbe use `Okada’ (motorcycle) as their means of transportation.
“The drug and substance abuse is common among them which increases the rate of crimes and accidents in the community,” Onifade said.
He further said that many youths in the country need proper monitoring by their parents and guardians adding that family values has been eroded due to the embrace of western culture.
“Government at all levels needs to invest and be more committed to community outreaches to reduce the prevalence of drug abuse users in the country” He also said.
The Public Relations Officers(PRO) of the NGO, Mr Biodun Adeleke said drug abuse was a platform in which crime was been committed, adding that more still needs to be done.
A national drug use survey recently released by the United Nation Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) funded by European Union (EU) in partnership with Federal Government revealed that the prevalence of past years drug use in Nigeria is more than twice the global average of 5.6 percent and that the extent of drug use in Nigeria is comparatively high.
Report also has it that about 14.3 million Nigerians are currently on drugs.