By Adeyemi Adeleye and Deborah Akpede
The Police Command in Lagos State on Thursday said that the prevalence of substance abuse had made the work of policing more difficult, lamenting that the music industry glamorised drug use.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said this at the 2023 Press Week Lecture/Symposium, organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Lagos Chapel.
Urging stakeholders, especially the elderly ones, to help in the fight against drugs, Hundeyin said, “The music industry is not helping us in anyway. They glamorise drugs. Not all that glitters is gold.”
He said that a lot of super stars were involved in drug abuse.
According to him, behind most crimes in the society, there is substance abuse or drug addictions among youths.
He said the command regularly arrests criminals in the state and 90 per cent of the cases, the criminals blame their actions on drugs.
“Drugs and their attendant problems are things that manifest in the society. We all know that there is a direct connection between drugs and crimes.
“For us in the Lagos State Police Command, we have come to realise that the more there is drug use in the society, the higher the crimes rate is.
“If drugs actually reduce in the society, crimes too will reduce. Ordinarily, people would not go and commit crimes until they use drugs,” he said.
He told the youth that beyond crimes, drug abuse messes up the future of Nigerian youths and their health.
According to him, when musicians have health challenges, most times they will not want to go to hospital but rather invite a nurse to treat them at home because they are using drugs. “Going to the hospital will expose that and they don’t want people to know.”
On the way forward, the PPRO said that the media and other stakeholders had a strong role to play in portraying the ills and dangers of drugs in the society.
He lamented that elders who should be custodians of morals had been arrested on several occasions selling illicit drugs.
According to him, it is painful when elderly parents come to beg for their children arrested for drugs.
“Encouraging drugs use will not help anyone. Elderly ones should be our mouthpiece. It is bad that elderly people are making these problems worse. We need to expose this.
“Our borders are quite porous, people bring in things, illicit drugs inclusive. The more we make noise about it the better,” he added.
Hundeyin, who noted that the right policies and tighter borders could also help in addressing the menace, urged young ones not to experiment with drugs in order not to cut their lives short.
He urged the students and young Nigerians not to bow or succumb to peer pressure. You should know what is good and what is bad.
He added: “Always stand right even if it means standing alone, in the long run you will be better for it. Drugs are not helping in our society.
“It has made the job of policing more difficult, because more and more youths are going into drugs which translates into cultism, murder, rape and many of them end up in prison. Our young one should stay away.
“Drugs affect crimes, so to help us reduce crimes in the society, we must collectively do all we can to ensure that drug use come down and we should not glamorise it.”
He said that the only way the youth could fulfill their destinies was to stay clear of drugs. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vincent Obi