Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, has called for effective collaboration among relevant stakeholders to address drug abuse and its devastating consequences.
Farouq, who represented by Mansur Kuliya, Acting Director, Department of Social Development in the ministry, made the call at the Awareness Campaign against Drug and Substances Abuse and Illicit trafficking yesterdayin Abuja.
The event, with the theme “Share Facts on Drugs, Save Lives’’, is organised by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
She said that the ministry had the mandate to develop humanitarian policies and provide effective coordination of national and international intervention.
“The ministry initiated the campaign in 2020 in response to the rising number of drug abusers, especially among our young generation in order to curb this menace and its effect on future leaders.
”However, the fight against drug abuse cannot work if it is not done collectively and universally, as we all have roles to play.
“Parents, guardians, village heads, government, Non Governmental Organisation and Civil Society Organisations have a role in preventing our children from addiction and drug abuse. And how do we do it if we don’t listen and care,” she said.
The minister said it started from the family unit, to the schools, Churches, Mosques and work places.
”It is not just about sending messages, but how do we listen, care advice, counsel and monitor the children, who they hang around with and their peers.
“Drug taking among our youths is becoming a social norm, as you can easily find them smoking cigarette, Shisha, Methamphetamine or crystal meth, codeine and others, and even go as far as posting on social media.
“The question then is, how do we combat this norm? this is where our schools and society have very important roles to play through effective prevention by supporting norms with positive influence on the choices young people face,’’ Farouq stressed.
Also speaking, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, the Director-General, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), said that Human and drug trafficking are organised crimes.
Waziri-Azi was represented by Mrs Helen Emuze, a staff from NAPTIP.
“A victim of human trafficking can also be used for drug trafficking. Human trafficking is rated as the third most lucrative job after drug trafficking and arms smuggling.
“Drug trafficking and intake is a very bad thing. It has a devastating consequence on the victims and their family.
”As we are here for this awareness programme, I want to believe that we will go back with positive messages,’’ she said.
The event attracted officials from National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, National Agency for Food, and Drug Administration and Control, Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders