Publisher of Realnews magazine raises alarm on devastating effects of drugs among Youths in Africa

Maureen Chigbo, Publisher Realnews Magazine Online

MAUREEN Chigbo, Publisher of Realnews magazine has raise alarm on the devastating effects of drug abuse among youths in Africa.

Delivering her welcome address at the 10th anniversary lecture series of Realnews magazine on Thursday in Lagos, Chigbo, who is also the President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, stated that Realnews zeroed in on “Drug Abuse among Youths in Africa: Implication for Nigerian Economy and 2023 Elections” because of our deep concern about the nefarious effect of drug on our youths. We watched viral videos of how Mkpulumiri is wrecking the lives of not just young people but old people too.

“We heard stories of how students indulge in anti-social behaviours and some even go to the extent of damaging school buildings to pilfer the roofs to sell to meet their drug needs.”

According to her, drug abuse has been linked to incidents of violence and insecurity in the country. There have also been talks that the psychological wellbeing of all the governorship and presidential candidates and it has been suggested that those seeking public offices should be evaluated and a public report made of all of them to ensure they are drug-free.

She added that all these are genuine concerns given that the World Drug Report 2021 showed that in Nigeria, with 14.4%, the drug use prevalence is significantly higher than the global average.

“Globally, over 11 million people are estimated to inject drugs, half of whom are living with Hepatitis C. Opioids continue to account for the largest burden of disease attributed to drug use,” she said.

Chigbo appealed to journalists in the country to ensure that the message of drug abuse taken from this event “is heard in Africa and beyond”.

“Of course, at Realnews we will ensure that we do our part by giving the widest publicity to this important lecture and the discussions. Realnews boasts a crop of seasoned journalists who believe strongly in the tenets and ethics of the profession. We are convinced that journalism as the Fourth Estate of the Realm can contribute to building a free, fair and just society where fundamental human rights are respected and where citizens enjoy the freedom to pursue their interests without let or hindrance. Our motto at Realnews is: “For God and Humanity.”

She stated that in the past nine years, Realnews has kept faith with its Vision and Mission statements. “We have investigated and published exclusive stories that cover all sectors of our focus, including politics, oil and gas, business and economy, women, youth and environment etc. We can proudly say that we have done and continue to do our job with a highest sense of responsibility,” she said.

Chigbo, however, stated that the modest success achieved by Realnews has come with its share of challenges, “especially in fashioning creative ways to sustain our publication in a difficult economic environment with dwindling prospects for advertisement”.

“Consequently, we would like to invite everyone here, especially those who are not already on our mail list to visit our website and subscribe to our e-Newsletter to enjoy investigative reports on topical development issues rendered in professional style,” she added.