The Lagos State Government has called on stakeholders and members of the public to support its drive to totally eradicate the menace of cultism and drug abuse from every part of the society, saying it is capable of destroying the present and future generation.
Speaking at the State Government organised sensitization programme on drug use, misuse and abuse for stakeholders in the education sector at Alausa, Ikeja, State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Pharm. (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf said the eradication of social vices from the society requires undiluted support from the public.
She said every family in the State are major stakeholders in restoring core values to the society since the home engages children in early interaction capable of influencing the child positively or negatively.
In her words: “Family bonding is the bedrock of the relationship between parents and children. The family has the responsibility for appropriate behaviour, moderate and consistent discipline”.
Uzamat noted that the programme is designed to address students in the State on aggressive behaviour, poor social skills and academic difficulties which have been discovered as traits influenced by drug abuse, cultism and other social vices during pre-school sessions.
While urging parents to be watchful of their children, the Commissioner warned school children involved in drug abuse and cultism that the act is equivalent to suicide and detrimental to family dreams.
“Drug abuse and cultism are like committing suicide, killing your family dreams, destroying community and communal togetherness, by extension destroying your generation”, she noted.
Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola restated that programmes and policies initiated by the State government through the Ministry are all in the interest of children.
He said the programme will provide a clearer view on the importance of social workers in all areas of the society through pep talks, education on child rights law, child safeguarding policy and other government establishment activities initiated for the sake of every child.
Muri-Okunola maintained that the rights of every child in Lagos State should be accorded to them, echoing that violators of the State Child Rights Law will not go unpunished.
The representative of Lead Consultant, a non-governmental organization with a focus on youth empowerment and education, Mr. Adebowale Baiye lamented at the huge number of youngsters attracted by hard drugs use, cultism and other social vices.
He, however, appealed to the government to introduce measures to investigate age and medical eligibility to checkmate any member of the society before purchasing drugs.