Hon.Wasiu Eshilokun Sanni Deputy Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Lagos Island Constituency 1 held stakeholders’ meeting that simultaneously held in all the 40 constituencies of the state to address the issue of drug abuse among the youths in our communities and to get community feedback to the government.
The meeting started at 10:00am at FSP Lagos Island Local Government Secretariat Lagos Island, Adeniji Adele Road Lagos.
Hon. Tijani Adetoyese Olusi Chairman of Lagos Island Local Government gave the welcome address by thanking the Lagos House of Assembly for bringing such remarkable topic to the local government. “Drug abuse is not only Lagos, it is everywhere”. He advised the parents to up their efforts in parental care, connoting ‘charity begins at home’ as drug abuse also starts from home, starting from overdose of Paracetamol and other medical pills. He also mentioned peer group as an influencer of drug abuse. Parents need to pay attention to their wards and monitor their movements.
The theme for this year’s edition is the “Increasing Wave of Drug Abuse: A threat to Nation Building” and is aimed at sensitizing residents; parents, teachers, students, religious organizations, professional bodies, academia, civil society organizations, community leaders, and individuals on the disturbing trend of drug abuse in out society and the danger it portends for the youth and our collective existence.
Hon Wasiu Eshilokun Sanni Deputy Speaker Lsha ably represented by Chairman Subeb Hon Wahab Alawiye King in his keynote address said, “The matter had long been a source of grave concern to the leadership and Members of the Leadership and Members of the House for which the House had exhaustively debated and passed various resolutions to address same such as “Need to Curb the Sales and Consumption of Hazardous Liquid Substance (Sokudaiye) in the State” in 2019, and another, calling on the State Government to “Embark on Anti-Drug Campaign for all Secondary Schools in Lagos State” in 2020.
“Drug abuse in simple terms is the use of illicit drugs, prescription or over-the-counter drugs for wrong medical purposes, or when it is used in excessive amounts that are harmful to the individual and others. Such drugs or substances include; cannabis and prescription opioids, such as tramadol and codeine, tranquilizers while various dangerous mixtures are being experimented leading to novel psychotropic substances such as ‘Monkey Tail’, ‘Skoochies’, ‘Revlon’, ‘ Colorado’, ‘ Sinol’, ‘SK’, ‘542’, ‘Loud’, Rush’, ‘Paw-pawA’, ‘Banku’, amongst others.
“The use and abuse of drugs is fast becoming prevalent amongst adults and especially the youths. Drug abuse has been identified to have diverse and and devastating effects in the safety and progress of the society. Apart from its negative social effects such as violent crimes, disruption of the family, child abuse and neglect, as well as unemployment, it has been associated with some other criminal behaviour such as gang formations, cultism, armed robbery, rape and other social disturbances. There are also the economic and health effects such as loss of job, dropping out of school, stealing, and complicated health issues such as persistent nausea, changes in appetite and weight loss, liver damage, seizures, stroke, mental confusion, memory loss and brain damage, and lung disease. All these have far-reaching consequences on both government spending and public safety.”
He mentioned the worrying development that recently corroborated by the Chairman of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd.) who started that ” Nigeria was not only the highest user of cannabis worldwide but that revelation from kidnapped victims had confirmed the facts that the use of illicit substances were enablers of insecurity currently plaguing the country.” Marwa said:
‘Banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, and other criminal activities all have their root in the use of hard substances. Until we face the menace squarely, the problem of insecurity will continue to remain with us’
“From this revelation, it is not farfetched to draw a similar conclusion between drug abuse and the vicious attack and wanting destruction of lives and properties by some people during the #EndSARS protest across the country in 2020 that left many properties worth billions of Naira in ruins, particularly in Lagos state. We have also heard about the menace of some youths in some parts of the State terrorising their communities.”
Hon Wahab Alawiye King Chairman Subeb who represented Hon Wasiu Eshilokun Sanni Deputy Speaker Lsha informed the gathering about the efforts of government at various levels, addressing some problems associated with drug abuse and it’s danger to the nation’s youth. At the Lagos State House of Assembly, the leadership and members of the House have always taken matters affecting residents and especially the youths very passionately.
” The House has continued to be proactive in the consideration of viable laws and policies that would enhance youth potentials and development. Some of the recent laws that were passed attests to government efforts on this matter such as the ‘Law to Amend the Lagos State Sports Commission Law 2015, to Promote Youths and Sports and For Connected Purposes”. The law will ensure that youths are provided with great opportunities not only in the area of recreation but where they can nurture, explore and utilize their potentials in sporting activities to becoming professional sportsmen and women”.
Staff of Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) enlightened the audience on Increasing Wave of Drug Abuse: A Threat to Nation Building. He stressed that if this culture of drug abuse continues among our youths as we currently have, we will not have anything call nation again. He defined drug abuse as a situation where a drug is taken more than it prescribed, or using drug for purposes other than intended medical purposes. He listed the types of drugs which are Cannabis, Heroin, Cocaine, Marijuana, Indian hemp, Codine, Tramadol and so on. The youths who are to be tomorrow’s leaders have been devastated by the use of hard drugs. All hands must be on deck to prevent this impending doom of devastating the future.
Sasi of Lagos , White Caps Chief of Lagos in the community advised the youths to remember the children of whom they are and protect the good name of the family.
Alhaja Olayinka Bakare, a lead singer of APC choir women, said the modern days youths have lost respect for the elders in the society to compare with the good old days, courtesy of the parents. The parents of the children resist neighbours to correct their children, that is why these children are wayward.
Hon Abdul Baqee Yemisi Coker APC Leader in Lagos Island, a teacher said some children learnt to become drug addicts from parents. Their parents are drug addicts as well, they smoke Indian hemps and others, children will also follow the suit.
A student from Isale Eko Grammar School advised the assemblyman to make this kind of sensitization in an open atmosphere to be effective
Islamic Preacher, a minister of God, said “anytime he went to the hospital, he won’t be himself because, the rate of insanity among the youths in the society from age of 12 is alarming due to drug abuse”. The man of God asked what are government doing to curb the open selling of Indian hemp and other related hard drugs.
A Student of Lagos State University LASU said some of the parents of these wayward children are fearful of allowing government take corrective action on their children from law enforcement. As such, they are encouraging crimes and other related offences.
Mr. Rasheed Giwa said every stakeholders of the society are guilty of promoting this drug abuse. Nobody is ready to stand their ground to revolt against drug abuse in the community.
One of the attendee of the Stakeholders Meeting asked where someone can submit a memorandum as advice to the government.
Alhaji A G O Sadiq, the Apc Lga chairman of Lagos Island Local Government advised Hon.Wasiu Eshilokun Sanni to help provide jobs for our children after they have graduated from schools. He also advised the Community Development Committee(CDC) to stop being afraid of the boys that are terrorising the community, they should make the neighborhood inhabitable for these hoodlums.
Hon. Wasiu Eshilokun Sanni advised the religious bodies to teach their members moral during their spiritual teachings. “Also, it is done on all of us to be good role models for our children to copy good moral from us”, said Eshilokun. Drug abuse can also lead to health and economic Eshilokun responded to the student that demanded the programme to reach the wider audience that the issue is always about space, but he has provided Eshilokun Moral Values Room where it teaches the pupils morals, which hopes to extend to secondary schools. He said every memorandum should be submitted to his constituency office if there is advise for the government.
Mr Shakiru Giwa gave the vote of thanks
Hon. Kadiri Kunle said the closing prayer.