The Wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has warned youths in the country to shun drug abuse and all acts of criminality.
The Governor’s Wife made the call in Benin at the “Say No to Drugs’ seminar of the Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament BOWFT.
Erelu Fayemi said drug abuse has been a pandemic in the country, especially among the youths, calling for collective action to tackle the menace.
She explained that drug abuse had increased the cases of gender-based violence in the country, saying that members of the Nigerian governors’ wives forum would be relentless in championing the cause to end drug abuse in their respective states.
Erelu Fayemi, who spoke on behalf of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum lauded her Edo State counterpart, Mrs Betsy Obaseki for the initiative.
Earlier in her address, Mrs Obaseki said the tournament was conceived to discourage women and girls from embarking on illegal migration.
She said the event was to prove that women could earn their dollars at home by building a career in football.
In his keynote address, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa decried that one in four drug users in Nigeria was a female.
Marwa, who was represented by his Special Adviser, Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho said the focus on the girl child and young women was strategic in efforts to curb the rising trend of drug abuse among Nigerians.
He noted that a national survey had shown that 14.3 million Nigerians, most of them overwhelmingly youths, abuse drugs while Nigeria has an exceptionally high drug abuse prevalence of 14.4 percent.
He called on Nigerians to move away from old ways of tackling drug issues and adopt new measures that were effective and would deliver lasting gains.
While declaring the programme open Governor Godwin Obaseki said drug abuse would continue to limit the productivity of youths.
Governor Obaseki noted that a study conducted in the state had shown that drug abuse had assumed a new dimension, second to kidnapping in the rating of social vices.
Governor Obaseki advocated more support for the NDLEA to tackle incidents of drug abuse in the state.
In attendance at the event were the state Deputy Governor Mr Philip Shuaibu, Wives of the Governors of Osun, Sokoto, Delta, Enugu, Taraba, Oyo and the Abia States as well as hundreds of students drawn from across the state.