Creative group seeks concerted efforts against drug abuse among youths

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Lagos.

The Creative Industry Group (CIG) has called on Nigerians to come together to tackle the issues of drug abuse among youths in the country.

Felix Duke, President, CIG,  made the call during a Cultural Day organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Chapel, on Tuesday in Lagos.

He said, “Drug abuse is  one of the issues to be taken seriously in every sector before it swallows  up our young people.

“ We no longer understand what is going on. Even in the entertainment industry, drug abuse is a plague. We, most especially the media, must join hands to fight it.”

According to the CIG President, drug abuse has become so prevalent in our society, with addicts in all parts of Nigeria.

“We don’t know what has come over our youths, a lot them have gone mad because of drugs and most parents have failed in their responsibilities.

“Many don’t know what happens to their children, drug abuse is a serious matter that we must team up to tackle, as it’s now a matter that requires urgency for us as parents.

“We must put our feet down concerning our children so that they will not cause heartaches tomorrow,” Duke said.

The CIG President also noted that the group  had been doing a lot to get the youth off the streets and engage them in the creative industry.

“ The creative industry is empowering the youth in various sectors including music, comedy, Nollywood and beauty industry to remove them from the streets.

“ Without these efforts and others, the security situation in some states would have been worsened,” he said.

Duke urged all well-meaning Nigerians to ensure that the youth were not abandoned but encouraged in the drive to secure their future.

“It concerns everyone of us, we all must join our hands together to remove our youth from the streets.

“So many innocent people also suffer much from these drug addicts among our youths because of peer group influence,” he said.

According to Duke, parents should closely watch their children and know their friends and the company they keep.

The Cultural Day celebration held in NAN Multimedia Centre was part of activities lined up to mark the week-long 2023 NUJ, NAN Chapel Press Week.

Some of the highlights of the event aimed at promoting the Nigerian culture and their unifying effect included displays that depict various cultures, food, fruits, drinks, dances and songs.

A troupe of dancers from the National Arts Theatre group thrilled the audience at various intervals.

Also, Koffi Tha-Guru, a comedian,  said that drug business thrived in the country because Nigerians celebrated wealthy people without investigating the source of their wealth.

According to him, the Nigerian state must go after people dealing in illegal drugs to save the nation of the threatening risk and danger.

He noted that thriving illicit drug business had become so bad that many youth today describe education as scam.

“ The mentality of the young generation of Nigerians need to be rechecked and recalibrated.

“What is going on shows us that we are sitting on kegs of powder, as journalists and media practitioners, let us use our pen to constantly speak on these ills before it consume our future generations,” he said.

The comedian said that the negative impact of social media on drug abuse by the youth was part of the problem, adding that Nigerians, especially the youth, were some of the most toxic users of social media.

He explained that the way young people insult and abuse others and elders had shown the erosion of cultural values.

According to him, the menace has spread to girls, adding that drug addicts among girls are worse  than those among the the boys.

“ These are our future mothers; we should pay attention; do something now before drugs consume all of us because these youths of today are our future talents and hope.

“ We should start from the children in nursery school, we need to change our education curriculum and we need to start to honour and respect individual not what we have,” he said.

The comedian said that people must discourage the mentality of placing value on money to get honour and respect.

Similarly, the Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee, Mrs Vivian Ihechu, said the event aimed at fostering unity, peaceful co-existence and national development.

“As a news agency and journalists, we are watchdogs of the society and we felt it’s good to use our strength and reach to spread the message of unity.

“When we are united, we will have one voice to surmount our challenges, work toward a common vision and develop the nation,” she said.

Ihechu also urged Nigerians, particularly the youth to appreciate and value their cultural heritage.

Similarly, the Acting Managing Director of NAN, Mr Abdulhadi Khaliel, said the event is important because it showcases  the cultural values across the various ethnic groups.

Khaliel, who was represented by Mr Kayode Olaitan, Head of Lagos Operations, NAN, said it was essential to share the values in homes.

“Let’s imbibe cultural values, teach our youths how to respect people so we can build a better nation tomorrow,” Khaliel. 

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