Tinubu Supports Fights Against Drug Abuse At The ASAP Conference

Posted on July 6, 2024

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has joined forces with Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa, the Chairman of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and Ms. Odunayo Sanya, MTN Foundation Executive Director, to combat substance abuse in Nigeria.

They lent their support during the MTN Foundation’s Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP) conference in Abuja.

The conference, themed “The Evidence is Clear: Invest in Prevention,” united key stakeholders and experts to discuss and strategize effective measures against drug abuse among Nigerian youth.

The MTN Foundation’s ASAP Conference saw a convergence of key stakeholders, including representatives from the highest echelons of government, as they united to address the pressing issue of drug abuse among Nigerian youths.

The event emphasised the urgent need for both global and local commitment to preventive measures in the fight against substance abuse.

President Tinubu, who was represented at the conference by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, highlighted the administration’s commitment to addressing drug abuse.

In his address, the President emphasised the importance of collaborative efforts in creating a drug-free society.

“The fight against drug abuse is not just a governmental responsibility but a collective one. We must all join hands to protect our youth from the scourge of substance abuse,” he stated.

Odunayo Sanya, the MTN Foundation ED, reaffirmed the foundation’s dedication to combating drug abuse through the ASAP initiative.

“Our mission is clear – to reduce the rate of first-time substance abuse among young Nigerians aged 15-25. The strong turnout at this conference is a testament to the power of collective action,” Sanya remarked. She further elaborated on the comprehensive approach of the programme, which includes advocacy walks, stakeholder conferences, and educational campaigns.

Brig Gen Mohammed Buba Marwa called for more substantial investments in preventive measures and early detection.

“The Drug Integrity Test initiative aims to establish an anti-drug culture in Nigeria. It targets students, workers, and prospective couples to prevent drug use and enable early intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation,” Marwa stated.

The conference featured a series of panel discussions, workshops, and presentations from experts in the field, providing valuable insights into effective drug abuse prevention strategies.

It also served as a platform for sharing best practices and fostering partnerships among government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector.

A highlight of the conference was the discussion on leveraging community-based approaches to tackle substance abuse.

Participants emphasised the importance of grassroots initiatives in creating a sense of ownership and responsibility within local communities. By tailoring interventions to meet specific community needs, these efforts can yield more impactful and sustainable outcomes.

The event which held at the State House in Abuja, had in attendance other dignitaries such as Dr. Oliver Stolpe, the outgoing UNODC Country Representative; Prince Julius Adelusi Adeluyi, Chairman of MTN Foundation; Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice amongst others.

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