With Adetunji Ayobrown
Curbing illicit drugs, Ilorin Grammar School example Ambition is likened to choler, humour that makes youths active, as it gives them full alertness while stirring. Youthful agility is great if properly channelled, but if not, may be stopped by any societal reasons and it cannot have its way, its most often maligns the society and pours its venomous on those in its part. Effects of which include youths taking to crimes, harmful and illicit drugs.
Everyone is afraid of something; some youths set faction before blood against fundamental human nature, the weakness they need to overcome and most often hard to fulfil by them alone, but then, the society can come to their aid.
All things are intrinsically connected no matter how distinctly different they look. One thing in life that can never be taken away is education; therefore, objective and sensible decisions will be easy to assimilate for properly tutored youths.
Kofi Annan, late former UN Secretary General noted that drug abuse is tearing our societies apart, spawning crime, spreading diseases such AIDS, and killing our youths and their future. Periodic maladaptive consumption of drugs, medication without prescription for the experience or feeling excited, drugs addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterised by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Psychoactive substances including alcohol and illicit drugs are not it for the holders of our nation’s future.
The effect of ordinary one gram of psychotropic drugs, which cost a few hundred naira can cause our society more than a billion naira in damages. This should call for our collective concerns and worries. But when the Kwara State Command of the NDLEA commemorated the last International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, many could not imagine this huge figure claimed by agency to true. Imagine within a year period, 4,290kg seizures, since then who know how many more.
Without mincing words, youths are an integral and essential part of any society, like many other countries, they make up of more than half of the Nigerian population. They are the force, hope and of course leaders of our tomorrow. And for any adolescence to be able to measure-up and fit properly into the society, necessary attributes are needed, both formal and informal education, which also include effective communication and self awareness. One cannot stand properly without the other, these two forms of education are interwoven, but I will prefer our focus on the informal. Ambition and good manners are the two reagents that must drive a responsible adolescent; from cradle to adulthood, good ambitions drive the best out of youths.
Just like the school’s motto, ‘Ambition and good manners’, Ilorin Grammar School Old Students’ Association in its own efforts thought it wise during its 53rd Founder Day’s Annual lecture, titled ‘Illicit drugs among Youths: Implications on Nigerian Economy and National Security, came at the right time.
Youths are very essential in the construction and destruction of a nation. Guest Speaker, Zakaree Saheed S. (Ph.d), narrated the effect and implications of these illicit drugs on Nigerian economy and its national security. A nation like ours faced with multi-headed monsters, including security challenges, cannot play down effects of illicit drugs usage among its youth populace. He pointed out the need to catch them young, Saheed likened the youth to clay which can be moulded in any desired shapes and sizes.
He stressed that our society need to face the fact that illicit drugs abuse is not only restricted to youths alone, but that adults too indulged in them. From cocaine, heroin, metaphine and the likes, most youths nowadays take one form of illicit drug or the other of which are psychotropic drugs like tramadol, valium, codeine, ephedrine, caffeine and Exol 5 that are meant for other uses.
Like sparks which need no ignition, youths possess the energy, skills, dreams, hopes and determination, which need proper and critical thinking. But many of their undesirable behaviours are associated with substance intake and drug abuse.
Study revealed reasons for such abuses, which included boosting self ego, and ability to handle hard work, or even punishment. How they get these drugs is cause for concern. Investigations had revealed new modes of concealment used in trafficking drugs intra and inter states. Drug dealers hide illicit drugs inside some sealed compartments of vehicles that security agents would ordinarily overlook while carrying out routine stop and search during motorized patrol. It took security agents several hours to discover the compartment where the drugs were hidden in vehicles.
The investigation so far showed that the suspects specialised in concealing banned psychotropic drugs among prescription drugs, distributing the banned drugs to even patent medicine dealers and other petty traders in different parts of the State.
Who are the makers of these drugs, what are these drugs meant for and of course, what is needed to stop or curb the sales to unapproved buyers? Of course, these are pertinent questions. On the news is report that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kwara State Command, has arrested one suspect over possession of 800 grams of psychotropic drugs, but how many of such are still in active business in the state. United Nations Office on Drug and Crime to designate Kwara as a pilot state to play a leading role in drug control in the North-Central states, including the Federal Capital Territory.
Everyone knows where they belong except for a few some, and in searching for this, many youths go astray for many reasons. The future belongs to those who know where they belong; Nigerians youths must know this as a matter of our collective survival.
Terrorism, insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery are all resultants and aftermaths of drug abuse and addiction, consequences of these illicit drugs have its effects on the nation’s economy. The inability of Nigeria’s workforce to be in tune with present reality is cause of unemployment and the effective way-out may be lacking without dealing decisively with the root cause. Curbing the menaces consumes a better part of the nation’s already scarce resources.
We are all stakeholders, families and residents in communities must always volunteer useful information on illegal drug activities in their domain, as this will go a long way in assisting the law enforcement agencies in carrying out their statutory responsibilities.
Sound character with knowledge, foresight and sense of unity and nationalism are the essence of a responsible matured personality, which our youths should inculcate, as these core values are necessary for a better future.
Ranging from good to bad to terrible, their minds work in a million different ways but with proper tutoring, guidance and counselling our youths will survive the ups and downs associated with human survival. Education been one of the most effective means to shape the future, will never be completed if our morals and religious values are left out.
Drug abuse affects everybody in the society, collaboration to overcome the scourge ravaging the entire fabric of every nation of the world. Federal, state and local governments must come alive to their responsibilities; lamentations about these problems will not win the anti-drug fight. Inadequate funding and shortage of personnel are some of the areas governments must focus.
As life has taught us that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph over good is for good men to do nothing. Our society should be ready to step in the rings to fight for its youths.
These are some of the values the Founder’s Day lecture impacted on all present at the event. Its kudos to the management and the alumni of Ilorin Grammar School, Ilorin, a school that has brought the past to the future by building its present.
*Ayobrown, Senior System Analyst, National Pilot Newspaper, writes via firstname.lastname@example.org