By Longtong Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) – “It all started at a tender age in secondary school. It was something I thought I could control but it became part of me, making me an addict – an attitude which resulted into me been expelled from different higher institutions and made me a victim of circumstance.
“It began as a result of keeping bad company and youthful exuberance back then in school. Though I was lucky to complete my secondary school and had diploma in Law but couldn’t further and my dreams were ruined because I was into taking drugs.
“I had so many opportunities but they are all gone now. It was a rough experience for me and sometimes when I remembered, I do regret and cry.”
That was a recounted experience of Ibrahim Ladan Kontagora, the Secretary of the Niggas Rehabilitation Old Students Association (NIROSA), a group of rehabilitees of drug abuse who had passed through the Niggas Rehabilitation and Skill Acquisition Training Centre, Kaduna, in North-western Nigeria.
According to Kantagora, his experiences and that of others under NIROSA was a lesson they needed to share with the young ones since they have recuperated and gotten their sanity; as such, initiated an idea of visiting secondary schools where most of the students are young, with high probability of indulging into drugs due to peer pressure to sensitize them against drug abuse. He said, they wouldn’t want to see youths like them going through the same situation they had gone through which is why they took it upon themselves to sensitize some secondary school students in Kaduna.
Speaking during the campaign exercise in one of the schools visited, Rimi College Kaduna, Kontagora, urged the students to strive towards achieving their dreams, saying, indulging into drugs and engaging in other social vices can shatter their beautiful dreams away.
He said, “Drug abuse destroys life and easily kills. It can make someone indulge into social vices like arm robbery, rape, violence and even cause mental disorder, becoming a nuisance to the society.
He however charged them to be good ambassadors of the school and concentrate in their academics to be good leaders of tomorrow; noting that, Rimi College has produced Ministers and Governors.
In his remarks, Principal of the school, Ahmed Sani Zailani represented by the Vice Principal (Academics), Nura Hassan Yero commended the group for bringing the awareness campaign to the schools, saying the school has a challenge to that respect.
According to Yero, “There is a notorious place the students called jungle where the students and even outsiders come to take drugs. Sometimes security operatives (Operation yaki) come to chase them away. I believed with this kind of awareness, it will go a long way in curtailing the menace.”
Also speaking, the Director of Transparency and Intergritty Foundation from the Kaduna state Ministry Education, Umar Musa, lauded NIROSA for taking this campaign to schools, positing that, such awareness exercises are lacking in schools. “It will go a long way to catch the students young,” he added.
Representative of the Nigeria Customs Service, Zone B, Dikko Magaji in a remarks reiterated Custom’s commitment to checkmating importation of goods especially illicit drugs that comes through the country’s borders.
The campaign exercise was also carried out in Government Secondary School, Rigasa in Igabi Local Government area of the State among other schools.