By Paul Ajayi
The lawmaker representing Lagos Mainland 11 at the Lagos State House Assembly, Oshun Moshood Olanrewaju has raised an alarm on the increasing wave of drug abuse which he identified as a threat to nation building.
Speaking at the 7th Annual Constituency Stakeholders’ Meeting in Lagos, Oshun noted that the prevalence of drug abuse amongst youths in the state pose a great threat to the security of lives and properties.
He lamented that the use and abuse of drugs is fast becoming prevalent amongst adults and especially the youth which he said has been identified to have diverse and devastating effects on 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 behaviours such as gang formations, cultism, armed robbery, rape and other social disturbances” he said.
He expressed worries about a disturbing revelation by experts that established a nexus between the menace of drug abuse and rising incidences of violent crimes in the country such as kidnapping and banditry.
Oshun decried the report of a drug use survey in Nigeria by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes in 2018 which placed Lagos and Oyo State as having the highest prevalence of drug abuse amongst youths in the Southwestern part of the country.
He explained that while the state government is doing its best to curb this menace with the passage of the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps which is aimed at ensuring the safety of all in our neighbourhood, the prevalence of drug abuse amongst youth and adults, if not effectively addressed and curbed will jeopardise the entire efforts of the Lagos State House of Assembly in the establishment of a safe, peaceful and livable society.
“Consequently, we call on all stakeholders, residents, parents, teachers, school proprietors, religious organisations, celebrities and social media influencers, professional bodies, the academia, civil society organisations, community leaders and individuals to work in concert with government for the common good of our society by saying no to drug abuse and drug trafficking.
Let us remember that our youths are our future and we must show concern about their welfare.
They are the hope of the next generation who can build our State and indeed the nation through positive contributions in sports, politics, education and other endeavors that solve future problems. Without these, there can never be any meaningful sustainable development in the state and the nation” he added.