From LAIDE AKINBOADE
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Muhammad Bello, on Thursday, raised the alarm over the increased involvement of women in abuse of drugs in Nigeria.
Bello stated this in Abuja, at a one-day workshop on women and substance abuse: implications for building a better society.
He said the fight against drug abuse requires a lifetime effort and commitment by all and sundry to mitigate the trend that threatens the survival of the FCT and the country at large.
According to him, the development is very frightening, because of the critical position of women, who constitute about 60 per cent of the Nigerian populace.
The workshop which had participants drawn from the six area councils of the FCT, was organised by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in collaboration with FCTA Social Development Secretariat (SDS).
The Minister said: “The problem of drug abuse has to be confronted deep inside our hearts, as it is something that has to be taken as a lifetime battle.
“We should not be in denial of the menace, hence the need for everyone to be involved in the quest to tackle the problems squarely.
“Throughout our lives, women have been playing critical role in shaping and advancing the society.”
Earlier in his address, the NDLEA Chairman, Muhammad Abdallah (rtd), opined that the workshop is timely response to the increasing abuse of drugs among women especially in Northern Nigeria.
He noted that the development has diminished value and respect of women, calling on stakeholders to help fashion out how to eradicate the scourge.
The NDLEA boss added that “We must do everything humanly possible to curb the menace ravaging the society.”
In his welcome address, SDS Secretary, Oladimeji Hassan, pointed out that through misuse of certain drugs, natural and chemical substances, meant to be of help to mankind, have caused adverse effects to the society.
He stressed the need for increased education and awareness campaign on the prevention of drugs abuse in the society.
“Prevention of drugs abuse is the responsibility of all of us. We must all get involved by looking after and educating ourselves and relations.
“We must make decision to stay healthy and avoid all forms of drug abuse and wrong use of otherwise safe drugs,” he said.