The First Lady of the nation, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, has charged state governments to prioritise the fight against substance abuse in their strategic work plans for a safe and secure society.
The charge was given at the opening ceremony of a two-day training on Drug Prevention Treatment and Care, organised by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for spouses of state governors in Abuja on Monday.
In her keynote address at the event, Senator Tinubu, who was represented by the wife of the Inspector General of Police, Elizabeth Egbetokun, tasked the states with seeing the war against the drug menace as a collective effort.
She stated that drug abuse must be recognised as not just a law enforcement issue but a public health crisis that requires a compassionate and multi-faceted response.
She added that the stigma and discrimination associated with addiction must be challenged and a culture of empathy, understanding, and solidarity towards those struggling with substance use disorders must be fostered.
“I commend the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, under the leadership of Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd), for organising this vital training and for your ongoing efforts in combating drug abuse in Nigeria. I equally commend the Chairperson of the Nigeria Governors Spouses’ Forum, Ambassador (Dr) Olufolake Abdulrazaq, for this significant collaboration,” Sen Tinubu said.
She continued, “We must recognise that drug abuse is not just a law enforcement issue but a public health crisis that requires a compassionate and multi-faceted response.
“We must challenge the stigma and discrimination associated with addiction and foster a culture of empathy, uunderstanding, and solidarity towards those struggling with substance use disorders.
“As mothers, we understand the profound impact that drug abuse can have on our children’s lives. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to protect, nurture, and guide them towards a future free from the shackles of addiction.
“As leaders in your respective states, you wield a unique platform to drive meaningful change.
“The role of governors’ spouses in combating drug abuse cannot be overstated. Through advocacy, we can ensure access to prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services for those affected by addiction.
“However, our efforts must not end with this training. We must translate knowledge into action, collaborating with stakeholders such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, other government agencies, civil society organisations, healthcare providers, educators, and students.
“Together, we can implement evidence-based strategies for prevention, early intervention, and holistic treatment approaches.”