The wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, has called on parents to intensify the moral upbringing and education of their children in order to curb drug abuse in the country.
She made the call while speaking at first lady’s activities to commemorate the June 12 Democracy Day with the theme ”Drug abuse among children: Addressing the challenges”.
The wife of the President, who was represented by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, assured the children of her determination to make them realize their full potential including the fight against drug abuse.
”We are determined to address drug abuse which portends a threat towards achieving your full potential,” she said.
Buhari, therefore enjoined the parents to encourage their children to concentrate on education at all level, especially the girl-child education.
The wife of the President also enjoined members of the media to be involved in the fight against drug abuse among women and children in Nigeria.
The Chairman, Presidential advisory committee on the elimination of Drug Abuse in Nigeria, Retired Brig,-Gen. Buba Marwa also expressed the need for parents to take bold steps towards identifying and dealing with drug abuse among their children.
According to him, the committee has made provisions on its recommendations for federal and state governments to collaborate towards checking and dealing with drug-related abuses in primary and secondary schools across Nigeria.
Marwa advised government to do more in the areas of counseling, rehabilitation, and skills acquisition programs for victims of drug abuse.
“Parents must be good role models for their children. Parents must seek medical support for the drug addicted children before things get worse.
”During the course of our assignment, we find out that about 15 million persons engage in drug abuse. So out of this figure about 160 million people have not engaged in drug abuse.
”So, we must put strategy in place to track the production and supply line as well as punish suppliers of these illicit drugs.
”As you know, Tramadol is scarce because government bans its production and sale,” he said.
Marwa said the lack of parental care was one of the major reasons children engage in drug abuse.
He added that the country witnessed a drastic decline in the proliferation of illicit drugs due to the efforts by the drug law enforcement agencies and the committee to ensure its elimination.
The members of Nigeria Children Parliament have unanimously agreed to the fact that the way forward was for government to create more awareness and establish more rehabilitation centers especially in the rural areas for proper counseling of drug abuse victims.
The children advocated against stigmatization of the victims and called for synergy between the teachers and the children.