Many youths dying due to intake of hard drugs-AFI

A Non-governmental Organization, NGO, Adorable Foundation International, AFI has said that the lives of many Nigerian youths were on the line due to the intake of hard drugs.

Speaking at an event to mark 2021 World Drugs Day in Abuja on Saturday, the Founder and President of the Foundation, Princess Ada Okeke said that abuse of drugs has ruined many promising young minds.

Okeke said it was against the unfortunate development that her Foundation has stood firm in the last 6 years in the fight against drug abuse using its channel”Societal Awareness Campaign Against Drug Abuse (ASACADA).

She said: “The AFI vehicle to pursue our major project is christened “A Societal Awareness Campaign Against Drug Abuse (ASACADA)”. Seeing that drug abuse is ruining our society, the founder launched this campaign advocacy to assist the government in reducing the scourge.

“So many brilliant youths have been ruined due to intake of hard drugs substances. Some as a result of depression, some as a result of peer group pressure and others to “high” themselves.

“In December 2005, we had a roadshow at Jabi Park Abuja when the foundation sensitized the population on the danger of drug abuse. In 2016, we observed the first international world drug day on June 26 being a day set aside for the commemoration of world drug day. We formally held a roadshow throughout the Lagos metropolis. In 2017, we held a talk show with the youth dream from 20 different schools and youths from other organizations across Lagos State. In 2018, on 26th June our foundation embarked on what we tagged “The market storms with a flag-off at the Police College, Ikeja.

“In 2019, June 26, we commemorated the day with a theme; Village Storms tagged “Grass Root Against Drug Abuse”. On June 26, 2020, we visited Makoko Inner City (slum area of Lagos State with the high number of people living with drugs and addition) with the tag “COVID-19-Drug Abuse is Not The Answer”

“This year 2021, we are working with a theme: Fighting Drug Abuse-Lets fight this menace.”

Okeke who said that the Foundation was partnering with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, the Nigerian Police, the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, and many secondary schools further said that the NGO will recruit 30,000 youths to permeate the awareness.

“Our strategic partners are NDLEA, the police, and the medical team of The Triumph Medical Centre, Ikeja. Our school outreach advocacy had taken us to many schools.

“ASACADA shall see to the recruitment of over 30,000-foot soldiers by the year 2030. These volunteers will be spread in the 36 States of Nigeria and the federal capital territory, Abuja with an average of 3,000 converts annually”, she said.

Also speaking, President NYCN, Comrade Solomon Dodo urged the youths to stay away from hard drugs.

“Time for deliberate action to redirect the country and prepare the youth where they ought to be. This is a gathering for us to renew our faith in drug abuse. I want us to know that we are waging a multifaceted war against drugs, banditry, insurgency, and other crimes that cripple the Nigerian state. We must get to the roots. If we get it right, 70 percent of our problems as a country would have been solved. I want us to maintain our resolve that we will continue to war against drug abuse. We must say no to drugs. Great Nigerian youths, say no to drugs”, he said.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and Group Managing Director GMD of Connexxion Group, Engr. Maxwell Esan enjoined the NGO to spread the message again hard drugs nationwide to save the youths.

“He said: “This is the biggest menace for any society. There is no better time for us to have programmes that sensitizes the youth than now to change the narrative. ASACADA is doing a good job. We hope to see the youth change the course of leadership in this country.

“If we could have more of these events that try to reposition the youth, it will go a long way in changing the fate of this country. You are a second-class citizen in another person’s country. Look to the future and aim to be at the top, aim to change the narrative. This should not end here. I look forward to everybody partnering with the NGO.

“At such a time the society has lost total moral values, we need to build the youth. The future is not about how much you have in your bank account or how many buildings you have but building the youths to change the narrative and reposition this nation.”

The highlights of the occasion included presentations by Stalla Marris School, Daisies Academy, GIGGIT and the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.

The Foundation also donated over 1000 books on drug control for use in various secondary schools.