…take advocacy against use of illicit substances to schools in Ogun
The Katamaran deck (Ijebu-Ode/Remo chapter) and Aftashok deck in North Carolina, United States of America of the National Association of Seadogs, popularly known as Pyrates Confraternity, have collaborated with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to enlighten students in Ogun State on the dangers of drug abuse and use of illicit substances.
The two NAS decks and NDLEA, on Thursday, took the advocacy against drugs to the students and staff of Bailey Bedrock College, Ijebu-Ode.
President of the Katamaran deck (Ijebu &Remo chapter) of NAS, Olumide Fagbohunka, graced the event to make it remarkable.
Delivering a lecture on the occasion, NDLEA representative, CSN Uchechukwu Nwobu drew the attention of the students to the dangers inherent in drug abuse, the criminal act of consuming hard drugs and the consequences in relation to the laws of the country.
The NDLEA official disclosed that Nigeria has the highest level of hard drugs consumption, adding that out of the over 14 million Nigerians involved in this menace, about 10 million take cannabis.
She further explained the various stages of drug abuse with emphasis on addiction and dependency stages when hard drugs addicts cannot survive without taking the drugs while listing the hard drugs now commonly consumed.
Nwobu noted that there had been great increase in the rate at which hard drugs are being abused in recent times, especially in the South-West, saying it had become imperative to address the menace as a criminal offence in the country.
She, however, showed the students various samples of hard drugs and the primary plant through which most of them are derived, particularly cannabis, disclosing that the term Indian hemp had been totally erased due to protests from the Indian government.
Corroborating the main lecturer, NDLEA Commandant, Ijebu-Ode Division, DCN Yaya Bola, laid emphasis on the laws against the intake of hard drugs, citing several instances where the Agency tracked the buyers and sellers of hard drugs.
He warned the students to stay away from bad friends and resist anyone who may want to lure them into hard drugs consumption.
He appealed to them to be good citizens by discretely reporting to the NDLEA anyone they noticed getting involved in drug trafficking and abuse, rather than physically challenging the perpetrators, to avoid confrontation and harm.
Earlier, a medical doctor, Ajuwon Awolowo, enlightened the students to the meaning of drug and substance abuse.
He gave examples of commonly abused drugs to include cannabis (Colorado, weed, skunk, loud), Opiods (Tramadol), cocaine, heroine, benzodiazepines and others.
According to him, drug abuse usually has negative consequences on health.
He added that intake of illicit drugs can lead to kidney failure, liver problem, cancer and infertility.
Some students of the school interviewed commended NAS for organising the enlightenment programme, saying that they had learnt a lot and now aware of the need to avoid being lured into taking illicit drugs.
A student, Semilore Olooro, said it’s important to avoid peer influence that could lure her into taking illicit drug.
Idowu Olusanya pledged to enlighten his friends and family members on the dangers of illicit drugs consumption.
Goodluck Ogunba said he now understood the need to focus on his studies and kick against bad influence.
Similarly, Onabanjo Rokibat said the programme had opened her eyes to the need to focus on reading her books always even during leisure in order not to give room for being influenced by anyone to get involved in hard drugs consumption.
Odeyemi Busayo on her part expressed the wish that such an enlightenment programme was organised regularly.
She said she had learnt during the lecture about her right to report to the appropriate authorities anyone involved in hard drugs consumption and trafficking.
Two members of the Katamaran deck, Niniola Majekodunmi and Samuel Idowu took turns to intimate the gathering on the history and activities of NAS in the society.
The presidents of Katamaran and Aftashok decks of NAS assured that the Association would continue to organise such enlightenment programme with a view to improving the society.
They also assured that the programme shall be a continuous one, disclosing that the deck has plans to tour many other secondary schools in the Ijebu and Remo axis as the NDLEA had given its nod for continuous partnership with the Association.
The staff and principal of the school as well as the guest speakers from the NDLEA and the medical doctor praised the two decks and the NDLEA for the programme to educate the students on the dangers of drug abuse, use and trafficking.