By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has identified bad governance, Nigeria’s economic woes, frustration and hopelessness as some of the factors fuelling drug abuse among the youths in the country.
In a message to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Obi lamented that many Nigerian youths were taking to drugs as escape route from the harsh economic and political realities in the nation.
According to him, if adequate measures were not put in place to arrest the ugly trend and combat the menace, the “leaders of tomorrow” would remain chained to substance abuse while the future of the country continues to dim.
He said: “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 out that 40 percent of our 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.”
While commending NDLEA for the good work they have been doing, Obi called on 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 also encouraged the youths to avoid all forms of substance abuse and focus on being productive and helping the country to grow, which, he added, could guarantee them a good livelihood and better future.
The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is celebrated on June 26 every year.