Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The First Lady of Katsina State, Dr. Hadiza Bello Masari, yesterday raised the alarm over the rising cases of drug abuse among youths and married women in Nigeria, calling for the declaration of state of emergency on the menace.
Mrs. Masari, therefore, called on the federal government to build drug abuse detoxification centres as part of strategies to check the trend and provide services for those affected already.
She said the implication of drug abuse on individual, family and the society is quite enormous, describing the trend as a threat to nation building.
Addressing youths under the aegis of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) drawn from 14 states who visited her in Katsina, the governor’s wife said the gory state of substance abuse has called for the declaration of a state of emergency.
According to her, findings show that many Nigerian youths, including married women, are being exposed to drugs and other illicit substances.
Masari said the society had also made it almost impossible for those already into drugs to come out due to the stigma and discrimination, therefore, “we must change our attitudes to rid the society of this problem.
“My non-governmental organisation (NGO), Centre for the Advancement of Mothers and Children in Katsina in synergy with state government and other stakeholders will work hard to bring an end to this problem among youths, considering the fact that the youth population is the fulcrum of national development.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the state Chairperson of High-level Women Advocacy (HILWA), Maria Abdullahi, called on married women to desist from drug abuse, as according to her, it has negative impacts on their matrimonial homes.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Abubakar Gambo Ahmed, said the advocacy visit was aimed at increasing access to safe and quality education for all children, particularly girls in Nigeria.
He said UNICEF, in collaboration with Katsina State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), has trained 120 youths in the state on different skills as part of efforts to commemorate the 2019 Day of the African Children.