The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, has attributed the high incidences of drug abuse among the youths in Nigeria to bad governance, economic woes and hopelessness.
Obi, who is a former governor of Anambra State, made this known in a message to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is celebrated on June 26 every year.
The presidential candidate lamented that many Nigerian youths were taking to drugs as an escape route from the harsh economic and political realities in the nation.
According to statistics, Nigeria today has the highest drug abuse prevalence in the world. While the global average is 5.5%, Nigeria battles with 14.4% drug abuse prevalence.
Obi said, “In 2021, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) found out that 40 per cent of our youths, aged between 18 and 35, were deeply involved in drug abuse. What is more painful is that substance abuse is higher among youths in their productive age.
“Accumulated leadership failure over the years in the country has continued to rob our youths of their bright future, thus deepening their addiction to substance abuse.”
While commending the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for the good work it has been doing, Obi called on other relevant agencies to intensify their efforts against the ugly menace, and to continue with a widespread awareness on the dangers of drug abuse.
He argued that the knowledge of the adverse effects of substance abuse will drastically reduce the scourge in the country.
Obi, therefore, encouraged the youths to avoid all forms of substance abuse and focus on being productive and helping the country to grow, which, he added, could guarantee them a good livelihood and better future.