Story from Ibraheem HAMZA, Lafia
The Emir of Keffi in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Shehu Chindo Yamusa III has disclosed that he has engaged youths of his domain on the dangers of drug trade and abuse, a result of which has led to a drastic reduction of the menace in his territory.
He revealed to Neptune Prime in an exclusive interview at his palace in Keffi that, ” I identified drug dealers and addicts in this Emirate and invited them for a meeting, sensitised them on the dangers of drug trade and abuse, which, in the long run, leads to tarnishing one’s image, thuggery, ill-health and mental retardation.
“This engagement is becoming successful as the trade, consumption and abuse are reducing drastically.
“I tried the diplomatic method because it is better to dialogue with agile youth than to be aggressive and confrontational, which would only escalate to violence,” he said.
The Emir, who is a Lawyer and a former senior lecturer before ascending the throne, said that many youths were introduced to drugs by peer groups, that is why he, the Emirate and other stakeholders have been encouraging them to be straight, avoid consumption and abuse of drugs in order to be better members of the society and the country in general.
Dr Shehu Chindo Yamusa III called on support from the government, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, ( NDLEA ) and youth advocates to assist in sensitisation for youths to acquire education, hand skills, and avoid breaking the law and subsequently end up in prison.
The Emir, however, said he has also enrolled about five thousand orphans and vulnerable children like Almajiri from the streets into both Islamic and western education for them to be fully occupied by seeking knowledge and to avoid being wooed into bad societal ills like drugs.
Alhaji Shehu Chindo Yamusa III called on parents and guardians to spare time out of their tight schedule to engage with their children and wards and advise them on the right course instead of being distant with them.
The Emir said he is planning to establish a youth rehabilitation centre to reform and counsel those that have left the drugs trade and abuse.
Some youths that Neptune Prime correspondent contacted in Keffi confirmed that the sensitisation by the Emir has been a success.