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NIJ Final Year Students Sensitize Ogba Community on Drug Abuse, Child Rights

Higher National Diploma (HND) 2 students of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) on Friday walked around Ogba and its environs to sensitize people on drug abuse and child rights.

The campaign which was facilitated by Mr. Abiodun Olugbenga Osinuga and Mr. Akin Ojo, lecturers taking the students on Introduction to Science, Technology & Environment Reporting and Child Rights Reporting commenced in the school premises at about 10:00am.

The students filed out wearing shirts and caps with different inscriptions related to the subject, distributed flyers and they incorporated entertainment to effectively convey their messages and express their concerns about the societal issues that have become a menace.

Final year students of NIJ sensitizing Ogba residents on Drug Abuse and Child Rights on Friday, January 26, 2024 (Photo Credit: Sunday Adeola – Big Sam)

Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Osinuga stated that the whole idea is to spread out awareness and to tell the community that there are no benefits to child abuse and drug abuse.

He added: “This issue has been with us for a very long time and there should be a continuous sensitization on a daily basis in our neighbourhood, churches, mosques, schools to let them know that drugs should not be abused. We have to do everything in our power to make sure that we stand against it and this is a reminder to make sure that we have people on their toes.

“Go to bus stops, parks, schools, people engage in it one way or the other and they don’t know the kind of heinous implications that are ahead and that is why we are coming out collectively and strongly to make sure that we say no to drugs.”

Mr. Teniola Mudashir Oladipupo in an interview with Mr. Abiodun Olugbenga Osinuga (Photo Credit: Gonzallo Gbolahan – Ganzzy)

Commenting on the role the campaign will play, the lecturer disclosed that it will play a huge role considering the fact that the information will be disseminated by practicing journalists from a reputable institution.

He also revealed that the leaders are not exempted from the cases of drug abuse and promised that the school will make plans to make it a regular programme.

Similarly, the Provost of NIJ, Dr. Dele Omojuyigbe elucidated the relationship between child rights and drug abuse.

“You have rights to four distinct areas as a child, including development and survival. The simple meaning of child abuse is that you are not letting the child to develop according to his/her age. You are denying the child of some basic things like development and movement.

“When a child is abused, there is likeliness that the child will be exposed to drug abuse because he does not have access to basic needs. And when involved in drug abuse, he is creating a problem for himself because he can’t achieve or fulfill purpose and there is possiblity that he will be affected mentally. He feels neglected, rejected and stigmatized and as soon as it is noticed, rehabilitation is needed.”

Avonda Richard educating Ogba residents on the consequences of Drug Abuse and Child Rights on Friday, January 26, 2024 (Photo Credit: Ganzallo Gbolahan – Ganzzy)

According to him, many of those who abuse drug today are from well to do families, however he stressed that many parents don’t have time for their children.

He also maintained that it will be unfair to blame parents in all cases of drug abuse amongst children.

“Many parents don’t have time for children today, but I also want you to know that there are parents who care for their children, yet the children decide on their own to go haywire. I know some children who are someone else at home and are different outside, they have two characters and one body. So, it is not everytime that you can blame the parents.”

Dr. Omojuyigbe opined that legislation cannot stop drug abuse, stressing that counselling is the way to go.

“There should be more awareness and proper counselling. Let there be seminars, workshops on these things and let there be books about these things published by the government for free and it should go on social media. The government must be active on these things by creating awareness on drug abuse and then, we should be fine.”

HND 2 students of NIJ creating awareness on Drug Abuse and Child Rights in Ogba on Friday, January 26, 2024 (Photo Credit: Gonzallo Gbolahan – Ganzzy)

Final year of the monotechnic, Mr. Teniola Mudashir Oladipupo said that they have contributed their own quota to the pool of advocacy – and believes that it will bring the menace to a minimal level.

His words: “The epidemic of drugs among young people is such an alarming case that there is no overdoing it considering what we have in our society today and we organized this unique rally to mitigate it. All the stakeholders, learners like ourselves, institutions, law/drug enforcement agencies and of course the homes should do well to join hands in order to achieve success in this regard.”

In the same vein, a member of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) at Area G in Ogba, Adewale Olaniyi (pseudonym) revealed that what we refer to as child abuse is the failure of parents in their primary duties.

“There are certain behaviours a child should be exposed to by their parents and when they are not exposed to such behaviours of advantage, that is where the problem starts.”

Olaniyi disclosed that a lot goes into the plague (drug) ranging from transportation, security agencies, the elders who know the young people selling the harmful substances in their neighbourhood to mention but a few.

He expressed his displeasure at parents of those involved in the act – and admitted that the stakeholders are not doing enough.

Olaniyi also noted that funding has been a major challenge for them to carry out their duties effectively as regards drug abuse and other cases.

The police official appealed to the general public to make their jobs easier by doing what they have to do at every point in time, stressing that all hands must be on deck.

He also appealed to the government at all levels to create more job opportunities and vocational trainings for the youths, thereby getting them engaged with a better path to life.

The students ended the campaign on a high note in the school premises by felicitating with one of their own, Mr Oladipupo who happens to celebrate his birthday on the same day.

Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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