By Daji Sani in Yola
In a bid to rescue Nigerian youths and adolescents from the alarming menace of drug abuse, especially in the North, the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse said it was taking steps to curb the menace.
The Chairman of the committee, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd), told THISDAY on Thursday in Yola that data had shown that a good number of youths were exposed to drugs, particularly in the northern part of the country.
Noting that the situation is alarming, he said government, corporate organisations, non- governmental organisations, civil society groups, journalists, religious-based organisations and everyone must be involved in the fight against the menace of drug abuse.
He said drug abuse had become a threat to education, security, economy and the future of the country.
Marwa said his committee was targeting more than 40 million Nigerian youths and adolescents that were yet to be exposed to drug so as to keep them away from drug abuse, while also addressing those that were already addicted.
“Already, we have gotten a situation where teenagers and under tens are into hard drug consumption. What we at the committee want to do is to detach these group of young ones from the hardened drug addicts to ensure that they do not get to the dangerous level,” he stated.
He said that the rate at which illicit drugs were being consumed by youths was assuming a dangerous dimension, so worrisome that primary school children are already exposed to drugs.
Marwa said the nation was in crisis considering the high level of drug consumption among the youths, adding that fighting drug abuse should start from the homes and primary schools before taking it to a higher level.
The chairman, while thanking President Muhammad Buhari for the initiative, said the committee had made several contacts in controlling the importation, consumption and trafficking of such drugs with relevant stakeholders with the aim of achieving a lasting solution to the menace.
Noting that the future of children and the nation was at stake if nothing was done urgently to address the menace, Marwa said the insecurity and criminalities bedeviling the nation could be linked to drug abuse.
He urged parents and guardians to as a matter of urgency monitor their wards and their peer groups.