- Aisha Buhari calls for holistic framework to tackle menace
The Northern Governors Wives Forum (NGWF) has raised the alarm over the growing rate of drug abuse by young women and youth in the region, using pit latrine, cobwebs, codeine among others to get high.
This was the outcome of Thursday’s drug awareness and advocacy training organized by the NGWF in Abuja in collaboration with Reconnect Health Development Initiative and House of Recovery.
The Wife of Governor of Niger State, Dr. Amina Abubakar Bello, who was the Project Committee Chairperson, lamented that the problem of drug abuse amongst the youths has continued to exacerbate at an alarming rate, with Northern Nigerian states at the top of the table for the highest cases of drug abuse and addiction.
She said: “Over the years, the problem has become very common with women in the North, as it has been reported that an increasing number of mothers and young girls engage in drug/substance abuse; codeine being the most abused among this group.
“The extent of the drug situation in Nigeria has prompted the NGWF to make it one of their intervention priorities. Consequently, we sought to partner with relevant organizations and stakeholders to curb the menace of drugs and alleviate the several adverse consequences of drug use and dependence in Northern Nigeria.”
In the same vein, the wife of the president, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari yesterday called for a holistic framework to tackle the menace of drug abuse among women and youths saying that it was solely responsible for the increase in school drops rates, crimes and violence, escalating in various parts of the country.
Mrs. Buhari who was represented by the Wife of the Speaker of House of Representatives, Mrs. Gimbiya Yakubu Dogara, lamented that drug abuse and addiction has now become a serious health and social issue rendering its user unproductive and dangerous.
Unfortunately, she said, a considerable number of victims of drug abuse are young people and alarmingly women, who if not treated and counseled will have little chances of development.
“I call on private owners of schools to include teaching against drug abuse in their curriculum, so that the children can be enlightened, about the vice, to stop the abuse.
“Parents need to talk to their children, about the dangers of drug abuse which is a lot easier than losing a child to drugs, young people need to shun drug abuse and be masters of their destiny, ” she said.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Northern Governor’s Forum , Alhaji Kashim Shettima who was represented by the secretary to the state government of Borno, Abba Shiwa noted that the issue of the intake of illicit drugs has reached an alarming proportion in Borno state since the invasion of the Boko Haram.
“Borno was not known as a drug infected state, nor did it have any relation with to drug trafficking, but we have now found ourselves within the region of illicit drug consumption by men, women and children at an alarming rate, and we need help to curb the menace”.
Similarly, the chairperson of NGWF, Hajiya Asmau Abdulazeez Yari, said that some of the intervention the forum will carry out would include running an outreach and awareness campaign themed, “Breaking the Culture of Silence: Is your Loved one an addict?” across all Northern States, an establishment of a 24-hr language sensitive Helpline and a fundraising dinner to fund the project.
Yari attributed the increase in drug abuse, especially amongst our youths to hash environmental climate and imitation of the developed countries.
She also listed some of the disadvantages of drug abuse to include: ill health, dropping out from school, and other social deviant behaviour.
“We have to do something but we cannot do it alone but we the wives cannot do it alone. We need support to curb the challenge of drug abuse in northern Nigeria,” she said.
According the Founder, House of Recovery, Ms. Hadiza Aliko Mohammed, top among the substance of abuse are: codeine, pit latrines, fuels, cobwebs, cocaine, heroin and marijuana amongst others.
Mohammed said that in addition to the list above, the people involved also used other ingenious ways to abuse drugs.