By Philip Yatai
The high level of drug abuse in Nigeria could cause a generation of mad people in the next 20 years, if drug abuse and trafficking are not checked.
Drug-Free Arewa Campaign Movement, an NGO, expressed the concern during an advocacy visit to the Kaduna State Attorney-General, Umma Hikima, on Tuesday in Kaduna.
Mr. Ibrahim Yusuf, Lead Convener of the movement, had earlier led members for a walk in some streets of Kaduna to raise awareness among residents on the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking.
The walk, tagged `Arewa Day of Action’, was organised by the movement under the auspices of Arewa Young Leaders Initiative to raise awareness against drug abuse to secure a drug-free society in the north.
Yusuf told the attorney general that the level of drug abuse in the northern region was alarming and require collective action by all stakeholders to tame it.
According to him, the nation’s future leaders are currently trapped by the menace of drug and substance abuse and if not rescued will give birth to a generation of mad people with unimaginable consequences.
“Our campaign against drug trafficking and abuse intends to position youths in Northern Nigeria as leaders with capacity to emulate the excellent leadership skills of our founding fathers.
“And we can only achieve this by addressing drug abuse and free our youths from its trap.”
Yusuf urged the attorney general to ensure that all relevant laws to stem the circulation of illicit drugs were enforced and traffickers effectively punished, so as to take the drugs off the streets.
He also sought for partnership with the ministry of justice in creating sustained awareness among youths in the state to shun drugs and live decent lives.
According to him, the group has reached out to 23 million youth across the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory with information on how to avoid drug addiction or lured into drug trafficking.
Also speaking, Mr Joshua Gadzama of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, commended the group for the effort to raise awareness against drug abuse.
According to him, about 90 per cent of the youth population in the country are involved in one form of drug abuse or the other, stressing that creating the needed awareness will go along way in curbing the trend.
Responding, the Attorney-General commended the group for the initiative, describing it as crucial to raising needed awareness for effective prevention.
Hikima, who was represented by Bayero Dari, Director Public Prosecution, said: “90 per cent of the cases we prosecute are cases motivated by use of drugs.
“I want to assure you that we will key into this initiative in ensuring that youth in Kaduna state desist from wasting their lives to drugs.” (NAN)