The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh has stated that drug abuse is the easiest route to perdition. The Commissioner made this statement while addressing umu akwukwo Anambra at the 2022 United Nations International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking held at Kenneth Dike E-library,Awka. Speaking,Prof.Chuma Udeh enjoined umu akwukwo Anambra to stand firm when faced with difficult situation such as peer group influence,social or academic pressure as nothing good comes out of drug abuse.
“Life is all about choices,the choice you make will either make or mar your future”,the Commissioner stated. “I am here because I chose to go to school. You are here because you decided to go school,if along the line ,someone pressures or lures you into abusing drugs,it is a choice you made.” Prof Ngozi Chuma-Udeh advised the students to analyze situation no matter how tempting or attractive the offer is before reaching a decision. “If you want to dabble into drugs,first of all look at a drug addict and decide if that’s the life you want.” “Always ask questions, why is this person offering me this, of what benefit is this to me ,how will it effect or impact my life”.
Prof Chuma-Udeh encouraged the students to run away from people that said education is scam, from peer groups that want to co-opt them into sniffing harmful substances because drugs destroys, renders one useless and worthless. She further stated that youths of today are living in perilous time and under immense pressure. A time filled with uncertainties, depression and suicidal tendency. Prof Chuma- Udeh stated that the way out is through constant sensitization on ways to stay safe from drug abuse and drug abusers. In his remarks,the Commissioner for Health,Dr Afam Obidike stated that Mr Governor,Prof. Chukwuma Soludo is very passionate about mental health,hence very supportive of the fight against drug abuse,especially,crystal methamphetamine,known as “Mkpuru mmiri”.
The Commissioner advised the students not to take such habit as it is difficult to stop. He also revealed that in order to create a drug free society ,the state government have partnered with pharmaceutical bodies to limit access to these harmful substances while also fortifying the State Pyschiatric Hospital at Nawfia with qualified personnel to combat drug abuse in the state. Earlier,the State Commander, National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency,( NDLEA),Anambra state,Mrs Florence Ezeonye in her speech called the state government’s to establish war against drug abuse (WADA) clubs in all secondary schools. This she stated would serve as the focal point through which NDLEA would carry out sensitization and awareness campaigns ,training ,seminars and workshops for students.
“It is a fact that the youths are the building blocks of every developed and developing nation and anything that effects the youth population invariably affects the nation. The youths constitute the work force ,so the stronger the youth population,the stronger the socio- economic prowess of any country, she stated. The state Commander,stated that consequences of drug abuse is a reflection of what we see in our society today.
” Increase in violent crimes,such as kidnapping,armed banditry, rape, arson, child and human trafficking,terrorism and others. She stated further that the situation becomes alarming when one out of every four drug abuser is a female. The Keynote speaker of the event ,Prof Micheal Ezenwa delivering his lecture,tagged,”Act now or suffocate from drug problem”, called on all to join the campaign to rid our society of drugs abuse adding that this is an issue that concerns everybody. Prof Ezenwa stated we live in a society where drug abuse is ongoing and our kids mingle with drug abusers in one way or the other every day,hence we cannot afford to be complacent.
He called on the present administration to come up with specific programs that would address the problem even as he called on parents to create a loving and peaceful environs for their kids at home. Youths of today are under immense peer pressure,quarrel and strife between parents can lead children into abusing drugs as a way of avoiding unpleasant family situations. Prof. Ezenwa made known that there is need for former drug abusers to be integrated back into the society,if rehabilitation is not done ,then the process is not complete.” “Instead of stigmatization ,they should be encouraged to become productive members of the society once again,he stated. The highlight of the event was the grand finale of the 8th edition of NDLEA/Lady Chito Onyido quiz competition which started on 10th of May with over 100 secondary schools.
The first edition was in 2015. The quiz competition was initiated with the goal of creating awareness in secondary schools on the inherent dangers of drug abuse. It is being sponsored by His Royal Majesty Igwe Alex Onyido ,the Igwe of Ogidi.
By Obiageli Nwankwo
Awka, June 30,2022 (MOl)