The Lagos State Government in south west Nigeria said on Tuesday that it was set to launch a campaign to tackle the menace of drug abuse, particularly among youths in the state.
The state Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Agboola Dabiri, disclosed this at a news conference in Ikeja, the state capital.
Dabiri said the campaign tagged “Lagos State Kicks against Drug Abuse” would be officially launched on Thursday.
He said the campaign was to raise the level of awareness of the inherent dangers in drug abuse and dissuade the youths who were the prime victims from the practice.
The commissioner said the project was also a way of presenting a united front against the menace which had eaten deep into the society.
He said the alarming rate at which incidences of drug abuse had permeated the Nigeria society in recent time was worrisome.
Dabiri added that the trend called for caution and needed serious action from government and all stakeholders to nip in the bud the unhealthy practice.
He noted that youth constituted the largest segment of the Nigerian population, particularly in Lagos state, and was considered the most vulnerable group to hard drugs and alcohol.
“No one will be left out in this fight and we have come up with various strategies which will ensure that all our youths who are the most vulnerable are reached. Their health and optimal development is critical to national development and deserves significant attention,” he said.
The commissioner said that the campaign would be embarked upon using a tripod approach which involved events, engagements and awareness.
He said that the approaches were all centred round what the youths liked to watch and listen to.
Dabiri said the events approach would include a 1000- man symbolic walk against drug abuse.
He said the engagement approach would be held with stakeholders to deliberate on the menace and proffer likely intervention to tackle it holistically.
Dabiri said the stakeholders would include parents, youths, patent medicine sellers, pharmacists, commercial drivers, and commercial motorcyclists, among others.
The commissioner said that school and community campaigns would also be embarked upon as part of the campaign.
He said that mosques, churches and faith-based organisations would be implored to dedicate a day to enlighten worshippers on drug abuse and canvass support for fight against it.