Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Thursday, called on youths to develop characters and attitudes that could guarantee a secured future rather than indulging in hard drugs that would only destroy their future.
Bello made the call at the Sensitisation/Awareness Programme on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking organised by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kogi Command, in collaboration with the state government in Lokoja.
The governor was represented by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Aromeh Adoji while the event had, ‘Listening to Children and Youth: First step to help grow healthy and safe’ as theme.
The governor noted that what mattered in life and determined the future of an individual was his or her character and attitude.
Bello further urged youths to note that that as future leaders, the society expected them to avoid drug abuse and peddling of hard drugs, reminding them that, ‘’drugs destroy your destiny”.
“What we are seeing today among our youths does not connote the proverbial saying that youths are the leaders of tomorrow,” the governor said.
According to him, 80 per cent of persons that commit various crimes in the society today are youths and noted that most crimes were committed under the influence of one form of drug or the other.
“The heroes that fought for the independence of Nigeria were youths who did it using their talents and determination” and urged youths to borrow a leaf from the nation’s past heroes none of whom he said was up to 40 years.
Earlier, Alhaji Idris Bello, NDLEA Commander in the state said the occasion was part of events marking the United Nations Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking for 2017.
The commander called for increased participation of the traditional institution, religious leaders and parents in the fight against drug abuse.
He said participation of these segments of the population became necessary to check the 60 per cent of the nation’s population, most of whom vulnerable and could easily indulge in drug abuse.
The commander also called on parents and guardians to pay proper attention to children and wards early, identify possible drug habits in them and quickly taking necessary actions to avert the consequences.
“The consequences are physical (death, ill-health); psychological (insanity); sociological (Loss of job, family separation, robbery, rape, kidnapping); economical (Money laundering and short supply of labour)”, he said.
Our correspondent reports that the occasion had NYSC members and secondary school students in attendance, coupled with delivery of lectures by resource persons.