By Gabriel Chy Alonta
The public relations officer, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Anambra state command, Mr. Charles Efosa Odigie, has said that females of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, abuse drugs more than their male counterparts. He described it as unfortunate.
He said that from the command’s recent arrests of drug offenders in the state, that female students of the university were the major people who formed the offenders, harping on the need for re-orientation.
Odigie made this disclosure on the side-lines of a one-day symposium tagged ‘curbing school dropout and drug abuse’ in Awka, the Anambra state capital.
The public relations officer, who regretted the general high rate of drug abuse in the tertiary institutions, said it was an indication that students allowed themselves to be influenced in the school environment, where they have more freedom.
According to him, there is high rate of drug abuse in tertiary institutions due to absence of school hostels on campuses, making it difficult to control students who abuse these substances.
“For instance, majority of UNIZIK students live off-campus in lodges where neither the landlords or caretakers are there to control them. If they are to be within the school premises, the story would have been different”.
Identifying shisha as the substance mostly abused by the female students, Odigie said most students, when arrested for either drug trafficking or abuse, claimed to engage in such act to make ends meet.
He said that failure of parents to care and monitor their children’s activities in the tertiary institutions were one of the contributory factors to the high rate of social ills in the society, while tasking parents not to leave the training of their wards to teachers alone.
He said the command would continue to sensitise the public on the dangers of drug abuse, urging other government agencies and NGOs to gear their activities towards the sensitisation of the masses on drug abuse, even as he encouraged people to always report cases of abuse to the command.