From Gyang Bere, Jos
Responding to the rise in drug-fueled criminality among young people, the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI Network) has staged an anti-drug campaign in public schools in Plateau State to educate youths on the dangers of drug abuse.
Coordinator of YALI, Plateau Network, Mandela Washington, Fellow Esther Mark, disclosed this during a campaign against drug abuse for SS2 Students of Government Secondary school, Kyan Rikkos in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
They described Plateau as one of the flash point of violence and drug abuse in the country, hence the campaign.
‘We actually sensitise the young ones on the need to avoid drug abuse since it is becoming a serious issue on the Plateau. We came up with this in collaboration with all the YALI Networks, the US embassy gave us backing because YALI Network is a programme from the US Embassy.
‘That is why we have come together to conceptualise this idea to see how we talk to the young ones and advise them to make credible decision at this stage of their lives.’
Esther noted that they are preparing the students to form clubs in the schools in Plateau and Yobe and the students would be active participants.
‘We choose two schools for the project in Plateau State and we are looking for up to a hundred students in a club of each of these schools.
‘Basically, we have started with the SS two students but for the project we are pushing it beyond the SS two students. So, for the students are talking with the principal and some have already made commitment with the wrong people. So we are not limiting the club only to SS two students we are pushing it to the whole school.’
The coordinator further said there is danger and connotation attached to drugs.
‘You will see them misbehaving and as long as you are mentally dragged you may not be able to achieve all you set out to achieve. And because we preach and to achieve our dreams, we preach leadership and this are the steps take to become what they want to be.
‘There may be other issues but generally we are looking at the mental imbalance disturbing the society, we don’t want it to affect them, because when it affect one, it affect the family and also affect the society.’