The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, has advised Nollywood practitioners in particular and entertainers in general against promoting drug abuse through their contents to the public.
Marwa gave the advice on Friday in Lagos, at a one-day conference organised by NDLEA Celebrity Drug Free Club to mark the 2022 International Day Against Illicit drug Abuse and trafficking.
The conference had its theme as “Best Approach to Drug Control: The Role of Entertainment Industry Practitioners”.
Marwa, who was represented by Mr Segun Okeh, Zone H Commander, said there were many approaches in checking drug abuse.
According to him, one of such channels is using the entertainment industry to reach large number of persons, particularly the youth on the dangers of drug abuse.
He therefore noted that “we need to appeal to the entertainment industry practitioners not to send wrong message that has drug abuse contents in your cast, script, presentation on the screen.
” You must watch properly the contents while processing entertainment to the public. There is the tendency for the young mind to believe that what they see in entertainment is real.
“It is our wish that the entertainment industry practitioners will join NDLEA for enlightenment and fight against drug abuse,” he said.
The Commissioner of police in Lagos State, Mr Abiodun Alabi, who commended the club for organising the event, stressed that the entertainment industry practitioners had a lot to do to check drug abuse in the society because of their large followership.
Alabi, who was represented by CSP Gbenga Stephen, noted that lots of committed crimes were attributable to the increase in drug abuse.
The leader of the club, Mr Wilson Ighodalo, said the conference was designed to harness the enormous potential in the creative industry, to promote evidence-based approach to drug abuse in Nigeria.
He commended the Marwa-led NDLEA for its recorded feats against illicit drug, stressing that the club’s desire to use the conference was to have a community intervention programme against drug abuse.
Ighodalo raised concern about the high level of drug abuse, especially among the young females, saying statistics revealed that one out of every four drug users, was a female.
He said there was the urgent need for massive investment in health care service delivery through community intervention, to address drug abuse and encourage youths participation in advocacy against the menace at community level.
A Comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka said some celebrities were promoting drug abuse through their contents in songs, videos and shows.
Adeyinka also blamed security agencies that had refused to bring such entertainers to book, to serve as deterrent to others.
Another comedian, popularly known as Koffi De Guru, blamed government for its failure to develop the entertainment industry.
De Guru also took a swipe at the NDLEA and National Broadcasting Commission for allowing the airing of some contents in the radio and television stations.
Mr Victor Osuagwu, an actor, called on security agencies to stop providing security for celebrities who were into drugs, including videoing security personnel guarding them while doing drugs.
Halima Abubakar, an actress, called on parents to check their children and those they followed on social media, stressing that those in the entertainment industry were only trying to educate, entertain the public with their acts.
The UN theme for 2022 is: Addressing Drug Challenges in Humanitarian Crises. (NAN)