Forum partners community leaders to curb substance abuse, vices among youths

Wed, Mar 20, 2024
By editor


THE Bwari Youth Forum says it is collaborating with district heads and village chiefs in Bwari Area Council to curb substance abuse and other social vices among youths in the area.

The President of the forum, Mr John Awoyi, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Awoyi said the forum started the initiative in its quarterly empowerment, education intervention plan to address rising social vices among youths in the area.

“We have already outlined our intervention plans for the youths, which include seasonal meetings, training, sensitisation and campaigns among other programmes, at least, in each quarter.

“This is because we intend to go hard against drug abuse and yahoo-yahoo among our teenagers, who are easily lured into committing crime after taking all kinds of illicit substances.

“ Recently, we reached out to various churches in Bwari to send all their youths to Etsu Bwari’s palace for a meeting; we educated them on why they need not engage in social vices.

“We are also working with all the 16 district heads and village chiefs to see how we can take these campaign into various communities so that we eventually meet our target,’’ he said.

Awoyi said that the campaign would also focus on healthier ways of having fun, explaining that it may include group activities like games, cultural programmes or workshops.

He added that the campaign would also include vocational training and value-based talk programmes which may be in collaboration or sponsorship with other organisations with related interests for the community.

According to him, these techniques are ways to engage the youths to prevent and divert their attention from illicit activities, while also making them useful to themselves and the society.

Awoyi identified factors responsible for drug abuse among young people as including experimental curiosity, peer pressure and poor socio-economic condition at homes.

He urged parents to pay attention to their children’s whereabouts, especially teenagers, adding that parents must also know and be familiar with their children’s friends and where they came from.

He said: “As parents and guardians, we must establish rules and the consequences of breaking them, be firm but at the same time, be supportive to them and set good examples.

“Show love and be affectionate as the child grows, but be fair in discipline, while also opening channels of communication for thoughts and feelings in the process.

“Don’t forget to keep a stable family time together that way, you are able to observe changes among your children and quickly address them.

“If you have prescription drugs at home, keep track of them and if you unfortunately, have any child or ward who engages in substance abuse, quickly seek professional help.”

Awoyi urged youths to always be strong enough to resist peer pressure and to try as much as possible to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

He also urged them to learn healthy coping skills and obtain education on the dangers of drug abuse. (NAN) 


-March 20, 2024 @ 13:55 GMT|