In a bid to intensify campaign against all forms of drug abuse, the serene city of Benin, Edo State came alive once again as the First Lady of the state, Chief (Mrs) Betsy Obaseki, joined the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai; the immediate past National Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Pharm. (Dr) Albert Kelong Alkali, and hundreds of community pharmacists nationwide to walk against drug abuse.
The ACPN “Walk Against Drug Abuse”, which was part of activities carried out to kick-start the recently held 37th Annual National Conference of ACPN, which was held in Benin, Edo State, started at the venue of the conference and terminated at Airport Road, close to Government House, Benin, Edo State.
Addressing pressmen during the exercise, the wife of the Governor, Her Excellency, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, who was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Magdalene Ohenhen, congratulated the ACPN on its 37th Annual National Conference, and noted that the government of Edo State, under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr Godwin Obaseki, was leaving nothing to chance, in its effort to dissuade youths from engaging in drug abuse.
According to her, “the present government has launched several campaigns to show that his administration is ready for war against all forms of drug abuse, adding that it has embarked on series of activities on various platforms and avenues, to ensure that the campaign gets to the nooks and crannies in the state,” she said.
The first lady added that the youth group is the largest population that is vulnerable in the state as far as drug and alcohol issues are concerned, stressing that their health and optimal development is critical to national development agenda and deserves significant attention. “Hence, the state would not fold its arms and watch the scourge continue”.
Also speaking, the PSN President, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, said the body is concerned about the menace of drug abuse in Nigeria and has consistently left no stone unturned to ensure the nation is rid of this potentially catastrophic vice.
Speaking further, the number-one pharmacist in the country noted that the PSN has been engaging different stakeholders on measures and strategies that could be employed to effectively curtail a phenomenon that poses a great challenge to the entire nation, adding that one of such pragmatic engagements was the one-day workshop, organised by the editorial committee of the PSN for a selected group of health journalists in Lagos.
In his own contribution, the immediate past National Chairman, ACPN, Dr Albert Kelong Alkali, disclosed that drug abuse is one of the greatest challenges the country is facing presently, adding that there is no better time than now to start sensitising the younger ones about the dangers inherent in it, as it has become a big menace to the society.
While explaining that the ‘Walk Against Drug Abuse” exercise was organised to inform and enlightened the public about the danger inherent in drug abuse and to kick-start its annual national conference in the state, further implored parents and members of the society, not to stop creating awareness among their children and youths respectively, on the dangers of drug abuse, adding that parents should monitor their children closely if they must effectively tackle drug use in them.