Immediate past Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili
The immediate past Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, has warned youths to steer clear of drug abuse, saying it could destroy their future.
Akunyili gave the warning on Friday in a public lecture on “Youths and Drug Abuse” which she delivered at Aba Sports Club in Aba, Abia State.
The lecture climaxed the 2012 “New Generation Month” of Rotary Club of Aba, which focused on assisting youths to develop higher moral values that are essential for them to live more fruitful lives.
Akunyili in her lecture defined drugs to include not only medicines but also “things like alcohol and cigarettes because these substances, just like other drugs, modify the functions of organs in the body of man or animals when taken.”
She noted that: “While proper use of drugs is highly beneficial to humans, drug abuse has many bad consequences.”
According to the former National Agency for Foodand Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Director-General, “Drug abuse is a bad habit that is ravaging and destroying the lives of many promising young men and women. It destroys communities, undermines sustainable human development and generates crime. In particular, drug abuse affects the freedom and development of young people, the world’s most valuable asset.”
She listed the consequences of drug abuse to include cough, bronchitis, ulcer, heart attack, stroke, cancer, madness and premature death.
“I, therefore, urge you to avoid drug abuse like the poison it truly is,” Akunyili urged the audience that included students from secondary and tertiary institutions.
One of the highlights of the day was the conferment of an honorary membership of Rotary Club of Aba on Akunyili, who was decorated with the ‘End Polio Now’ pin. The former minister was also conferred with a Distinguished Alumna Award by the National President of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association.
Akunyili thanked both organisations for the honour and pledged to continue to render selfless service to humanity.
Jointly organised by Rotary Club of Aba and the University of Nigeria Alumni Association, the event attracted Rotarians, University of Nigeria Alumni, members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Abia State, members of Aba Chamber of Commerce and Aba Sports Club, as well as the general public.
Dignitaries who graced the event included Rotary District Governor 9140, Dr. Onyebuchi Onuoha; National President of University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Dr. Nwanne Chioke; chairman of the Aba Branch of the association, Chief (Dr.) Grace Ukeje; and President of Rotary Club of Aba, Rotarian Kelechi Ukoumunna.
This is the second time in just over a month that Akunyili is being honoured by Rotary Club. On August 24, she had been inducted as an Honorary Member of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway – the highest honour a Rotary Club can bestow on any individual.