MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
As registered political parties in Nigeria have begun their campaigns for the 2023 general elections, a social activist and President, Sweep Foundation, Mr. Phillips Obuesi has blamed many Nigerian politicians who engage the jobless youths in acts of political brigandry after introducing them into taking hard drugs in their bid to win election by all means.
Speaking at the media launch of CAMPAIGN AGAINST DRUGS & SUBSTANCE ABUSE organised by Afestac Media, Advocates For Global Peace Forum International and Aforevo Television on Friday at Lagos Airport Hotel, Obuesi noted that over the years, many Nigerian politicians had resorted to the use of violence to achieve their electoral ambition by hiring jobless youths after initiating them into consumption of hard drugs.
He explained that such indulgence was possible since under normal circumstances, no youth can reasonably engage in act of violence to fight an unknown enemy during elections.
“The politicians capitalize on the unemployment situation in the country to lure vulnerable youths into the act of taking drugs and arming them with dangerous weapons to fight perceived enemies.”The Sweep Foundation boss blamed the political class for the numerous social problems Nigeria currently faces, just as he advised that politicians must begin to model themselves along sustainable lifestyles.
He wondered why politicians whose children are schooling overseas should resort to turning youths of the less privileged into “area boys” in their quest to achieve their selfish political ambition.
The drug awareness event which its theme was: DRUGS: ADDICTION AND ITS CHALLENGES brought many personalities together with a view to creating more awareness for the dangers associated with illicit drug substances.
In his brief welcome speech, the convener of the event and Afestac Media Chieftain, Mr. Valentine Ugochukwu said his organisation has chosen to be part the anti drug awareness targeted at the youths given the fact that more Nigerian youths were becoming addicted by day, thereby creating a societal problem that affects both the individual, family and society at large.
He pointed out the health implications of indulging in hard drug and also the social disadvantages which in most cases had destroyed families.
The event co-host and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Aforevo Television, Mr. Afamefune Anawala, said with the media launch of the campaign against illicit drugs, his television medium would ensure that the awareness was spread so that more people will get youths can be saved.
One of the speakers at the event, Ambassador Chris Ibe said every family in our society was directly or indirectly affected one way or the other by the negative effects of drug abuse or addiction.
He lamented the high degree of criminality hard drug consumption breeds in the society and could not hesitate to partly blame the entertainment industry which he claimed was in the forefront in celebrating drugs addicted artistes.
Ambassador Ibe possibly with some benefits of hindsight pointed out that if people in Nigeria’s entertainment industry want youths involvement in hard drug stopped, it would immediately be so since most of the entertainers hooked on drug serve as models to innocent youths.
He commended the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) currently led by retired General Mohammed Buba Marwa, for the great breakthrough in the fight against drug.
According to him, “the NDLEA under Marwa is doing fantastically well and must be supported. NDLEA is the most viable institution now in Nigeria”, he said
A popular gospel singer, Dr. Broda Martins in his contribution said he had been divinely sent to inform the public that God was not happy with drug abuse and addiction. According to him, drug addiction comes through contact explaining that when addiction gets to a level like it is currently, hopelessness begins to set in.
According to him, there are four levels of destruction by drug addiction with the individual addict being at the first level. The second level of disaster is on the family, the third on the society while the fourth level is the destruction of the soul of the addict.
However, he expressed optimism that with sustained advocacy and fervent prayers to God and nation’s leadership playing its role properly, the war against drug abuse and addiction would be won.
Another speaker, the Founder/President of Eko Film Festival, Mr. Hope Obinna Okpara said the entertainment industry where he belongs, was doing a lot to take away many of the youths from drugs by engaging them in different aspects of entertainment activities.
As a communications person, he promised to do a lot more in the current project of creating awareness against illicit drugs through television series.
Other speakers included Rev. Uchenna Chibuzor Ubadinobi who posited that what the organisers of the event were into, was “more spiritual than physical because there are forces out there behind drug addiction.”
The clergyman said churches in contemporary times have the responsibility of preaching and teaching on the dangers of drub abuse and addiction.
While insisting that there should be continuous need to re-orientate the public with clear explanation on the dangers of hard drugs, he added that churches should organise seminars on the effect of drug abuse.
Above, Rev. Ubadinobi said prayer would be another weapon against drug addiction because “it is believed that drug addition is caused by evil influence.”
There were other speakers who in their submissions encouraged both the rich and the poor to sustain the creation of awareness about the dangers of involving in hard drugs.