Fred Itua, Abuja
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Muhammad Musa Bello has raised the alarm over increasing cases of drug abuse and cultism in schools in Abuja.
He expressed shock at the fast-growing moral decadence, recalling that cultism had, until recently, been restricted to universities and tertiary institutions.
He said: “One of the main areas of concern to us is the issue of drug abuse and cultism in our schools.”
He continued: “We used to know of cults in the 70s at the university level. Now you have cults in primary schools and we wonder how do they even get to go there.”
He made the remarks during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the FCT branch of the Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN).
The Minister urged them to restore family values in society by working hard to eliminate the vices of cultism and drug abuse, especially amongst children and women.
He called on FOMWAN to use its vantage position and the fact that it has been in existence for 35 years to focus on matters concerning children as well as women, especially as it relates to drug abuse and cultism.
Speaking at the event, Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, hailed FOMWAN for its activities over the years, but also reminded them to re-inculcate the family value system which, she said, is being eroded in society.
She said: “We all know that parenting does not stop until we are dead. We had our mothers speaking to us even as we are ageing and they remain the voices of caution that will say stop if we are going wrong. But now to our children, nobody can say stop anymore. They exchange words, they retaliate. This is not the culture under which we were brought up.”
She called on FOMWAN to work together and inculcate in children the values under which they were brought up.
Tijjani Aliyu also decried the rising cost of marriage in Northern Nigeria which she said has the potentials of leaving many young girls without husbands, a situation she described as “scary”. She called for community action by FOMWAN to tackle these vices.
Amirah of FCT FOMWAN, Bola Usman, disclosed that the 35th anniversary of FOMWAN is scheduled to hold in August in Abuja and called for the support of the FCT Administration for the success of the event.