In what can be termed a formal declaration of war agaisnt drug abuse and consumption of illicit drugs by youths and residents of Ikorodu Division, the State Commander of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Barr Callys Alumona has decorated the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo Oba Barr Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali and Ayangburen of Ikorodu and Ikorodu, Oba Engr Kabir Adewale Shotobi as Amabassadors of War Againts Drug Abuse in Ikorodu Division.

Barr Alumona also decorated some leaders of the Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative (IDPIL/G) namely, High Chief Adewunmi Ogunsanya, Odofin of Ikorodu and Otunba Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru Chairman and Executive Secretary pf the Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative Ltd/GTE respectively. He also decorated the Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary of the Education District 2, Chief Mrs Anike Adekanye, who was ably represented by Mrs Iyabo Fletcher.

Addressing participants made up of school students, parents, market men and women, traditional leaders and security operatives, Barr Callys noted that the flag-off of the War Against Drug AAbuse was in line with the directives of the NDLEA Chairman, Rtd General Buba Marwa for the launch of the sensitisation campaign across states and local goivernmnents in Nigeria, as a way of putting a stop to the scourge of drug abuse among Nigerians.

The facilitators of the well-attended event made up of NDLEA officials and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ikorodu gave a good account of themselves, by doin good justice to the topics of discussions.

Speaking on ‘The effects of drug abuse in the society’, Mrs Edagbagbe an NDLEA official educated participants on some elements of drug abuse, sysmptoms and how to nip drug abuse in the bud among children and youths at home and in school. She also blamed the spread of the drug abuse among children and youths on irresponsible parents who have transfered their parental responsinbilities to the school.

In his presentation on ‘The role of an ideal mother in the prevention of drug abuse’, The Area Commander of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Ikorodu Area Command, Mr Lawal Opeloyeru stressed the need for parents to be intentional in parenting their children. He stated that, most victims of drug abuse were children whose parents were not sensitive to changes in their attitudes and ways of life, sequel to drug abuse. He therefore charged parents to be alive to their responsibilities so that drug abuse can be tamed and reduced in the socity.

Similarly, Vice Chairman of the NBA Ikorodu Branch, Barr Adekoya educated participants on the legal implications of drug induced crime, noting that most crimes being perpetrated in the society under any guise was caused by illicit drugs intake. She however corrected the notion among some teenagers that they can escape prosecution since they were not yet 18 years of age. She stressed that there was no ignorance in law. Adekanye further reiertaed that drug abuse was illegal and punishable under the law and same for the perpetrators of drug-induced crimes.

Addressing the gathering, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom, Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali blamed the scourge of drug abuse on herb sellers who hide under the guise of selling herbs and are now selling marijuana, cannabis and other illicit drugs to youths. He implored the NDLEA to be harder on drug users by prosecuting anyone arrested to serve as a deterrent to others. He concluded by charging Ikorodu market leaders to check the activities of these herb sellers across Ikorodu markets. Oba Kasali also commended the IDPIL/G for embarking on the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign initiative, assuring the body of his support and that of the entire traditional rulers of Ikorodu Division.

Earlier in his address, the Executive Secretary of Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative Ltd/GTE Otunba Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru stated that, the War Agaist Drug Abuse was just one of the many development initiatives to be embarked upon by the IDPIL/G. He disclosed that the body would soon address education, health among other key sectors of the community in her future activities. Hs expressed the readiness of the IDPIL/G to partner with government institutions, coporate organisations and private individuals in the pursuit of peace and security of the Ikorodu Division.

Speaking earlier, Chief Host of the event and Chairman, IDPIL/G-War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) Campaign, Hon (Mrs) Adebimpe Akinsola noted that, ‘sadly the problems of drug abuse is prevalent in our societies even among children in elementary and secondary school levels. It goes without saying that abusing drugs can have dire consequences which may be physical, social, psychological or emotional harm to the abuser and other person. The effect may also be of an economic nature since someone with a serious drug addiction may be unable to work or earn a living as a direct result of their addiction and perhaps be an instruments in the hands of merchants of deaths’, she said.

She added that, ‘as part of the objectives of Ikorodu Division Peace Initiatives LTD/GTE in the process of giving back to our communities and considering all the slected topics and choice of highly experienced facilitators that were invited to share their wealth of knowledge with us, I am optimistic that at the end of this public enlightment programme, we would all have been able to agree to the fact that drug abuse is injurious to our physical and mental stability’.

‘This communities need us. This community wants our youths to prosper and do well and the only way through which this can be possible is to stay away from dangerous drugs’, she concluded.

The highpoint of the event was the interactive session, where students, teachers and some parents asked questions and were provided with insightful answers and clarifications by the expert discussants.

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