By A’isha Biola Raji
In supporting the fight against the indiscrominate use of drugs, the leaders of the Arewa Youth Forum, (AYF) have pledged their support fir National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in order to bring an end to menace of drug abuse.
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja when he led national executive members of the forum on a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the agency, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), National President of the AYF, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, said the Northern youths have decided to support the war against drugs as a high percentage of young Nigerians are high consumers of narcotics.
Ibrahim said, “The Arewa Youth Forum is here to seek ways to partner with the Agency in the advocacy and fight against drugs with special focus at treatment and after care, family/parenting, community, school systems, advocacy and sensitization to all groups through traditional institutions, religious bodies, media, NGOs, CSOs, state and local governments, among others.”
He said their visit to the agency is also to present their concept note on their proposed project called ‘Arewa Youth Forum Drug Free Community Project (AYF-DFCP).
He said “the project which is targeted at six pilot states of Kaduna, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Taraba, Kano and Katsina will serve as another build up and expansion of our project activities among over 10,000 youths in the four initial states, where we implemented the conflict mitigation and peace building project, which was funded by the US Department of State, Abuja.
We are hopeful that the program will not only eliminate drugs sale and intake but shall create a way through which participants in the project will have ways to economic engagement and livelihood.”
Responding, Gen. Marwa described AYF as a youth group he has been familiar with since he left Lagos as military administrator. “It’s a reputable, sincere and committed body that means well for the youths in the North and the entire country,” he said.
According to Marwa, the issue of drug scourge is top on the agenda of the country. “It is an issue that doesn’t discriminate between North and South, youths and adults, and unless we stand up collectively this problem may put us under,” he called.
Marwa however gave hope that the menace of drug is not beyond repair as the situation can still be tackled. He commended the youths for their efforts and initiative, while he agreed to the partnership between the agency and the forum.