The Vanguard against Drug Abuse (VGADA) has appealed to traditional rulers and religious leaders to preach against drug abuse and election violence as the 2019 elections approach. The President of the Organization, Dr. Hope Abraham made the call in an interview on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
According to him, results from the latest NOI Poll showed that 9 in 10 Nigerians believe the highest abusers of drugs and substance are teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 29 years old. It has also emerged truly from this poll that the most abused substance in Nigeria is marijuana. Abraham urged them to sensitize their subjects and congregations to such acts before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
He, however, urged the leaders not to sit on the fence but “take up the task of preaching peace to the people at all gatherings. FG graduates 1,000 N-Power tech beneficiaries in N/East. We need the traditional and religious leaders seriously, especially as we are in the political period; we want peaceful polls in the territory and the country at large. The negative effects of illicit drugs cannot be overemphasized. Its abuse kills faster than any deadly disease. Some youths get out of control when they take drugs; religious leaders need to convince them that what they are taking is dangerous,” Abraham said.
He also solicited the support of the elders and parents in the communities to speak out on the dangers of substance abuse. “This means that we all have a role to play in sustaining our peace and harmony for the prosperity of our country. “We cannot do this on our own without involving everyone who loves his or her country as well as to help in the fight and see to the end of drug abuse in Nigeria. Everybody in the community should come out and assist the Governments and NGOs to educate youths to get out of drug abuse,” he said.