For the youths of Ajegunle community in Ikorodu area, to rise to prominence in the nation and become eminent professionals and leaders of tomorrow, they must make definite effort to discontinue from the use of hard drugs, which encourage criminal activities in the society, the Chief Police Officer (CPO) Owode-Onirin divisional office, Bernard Idagboya, has said.
The police chief made the statement during the drug abuse campaign, organised by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Ketu District, in collaboration with the Chief Police Officer (CPO) Owode-Onirin divisional office.
Addressing the youths, Idagboya, who spoke on the dangers involved in taking hard drugs, noted that drug abuse enhances criminal activities in the society, and thus, cautioned them not to engage in it.
He further narrated to the youths the different criminal cases he had handled, which were influenced by drug abuse, adding that the perpetrators were not spared, and not even their plea of ignorance of the law could save them from facing the wrath of the law.
Idagboya highlighted some of the hard drugs commonly abused by the youths and their nicknames to include: Cocaine, usually referred to as ‘Coke’, and ‘Happy dust’; Heroine-also called ‘Hero’; Marijuana-‘Igbo’, ‘Weed’,’Ganja’, ‘Morroco’; Gum; Solution; Alcohol; Tramadol, Codeine, etc.
Some of the crimes influenced by drug abuse, according to the police chief are: murder, gang rape, armed robbery, burglary, cultism, unlawful possession of hard drugs, abduction, stealing, domestic assault, and so on.
He emphatically warned that ignorance is not an excuse in law, adding that once anyone of them is found guilty of any of these crimes, the law will take its full course on them.”The Criminal Code Act stipulates punishment for these offences and once any of you commit crime, and are brought to me, I will not spare you of the punishment”, he warned.
The police chief however urged them to invest their time in useful activities, like studying to become great professionals and leaders in the future, rather than engaging in criminal acts.
The Adventists drug abuse campaign, which coincided with the celebration of Children’s Day, on 27 May, 2018, had youths and children in their numbers, with various placards to warn the youths and other residents of Ajegunle, against the ills of substance abuse.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards include:” No to drug abuse”, “True heroes don’t do drugs”, “Don’t damage your lungs”, “Let’s help you overcome drug addiction”, “Smoking kills”, and so on.
Pharm. (Dr) Ugochinyere Ogudu, one of the organisers of the programme, decried the alarming rate of drug abuse in the area, noting that it keeps escalating by the day.”Even as we went around during our campaign, we saw some of the big boys smoking Marijuana on the streets in broad day light, and this is likely to influence other youths in the community, as they are known to be hero worshippers”.
She explained the essence of the campaign, which was to sensitise the youths on the dangers of getting involved in drug abuse, and to appeal to the big boys to get rid of the habit, in order to have a healthier society.
On the choice of the area for the enlightenment campaign, Pharm. Ogudu said the area is known to be populated with idle youths and children, most of whom are usually seen smoking around during the day, and thus, they decided to take the crusade there.
She also noted that as a pharmacist, it was her own way of giving back to her local community.
According to the District Pastor Samuel Adebayo, the programmed was planned in line with their denominational calendar on substance abuse, which aimed at addressing some of the societal ills caused by drug abuse.
“We discovered that there are drugs that make our children stubborn and influence them to commit several atrocities, and so we embarked on streets awareness campaign, in order to encourage our children to cultivate the right behaviour with good moral values”, he stated.
The clergyman, who described the programme as the biggest among others, said they have had similar campaigns in the past, and the target has been to disabuse the minds of youngsters against substance abuse, as well as to proffer escape route to some that are already trapped in the net of the evil habit.
Dr Onyinyechi Nwaolikpe, the youth leader, emphasised the impact of information on the youth, saying knowledge is power, adding that once the young adults get to know the negative implications of drug abuse on their health and the society; they will normally desist from it.