By Ikeugonna Eleke
The Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has said that female students in most Nigerian universities abuse hard drugs more than their male counterparts.
The spokesperson of the Anambra State Command of the agency, Mr. Charles Odigie, who disclosed this, said the situation was unfortunate, but was a stark reality staring society in the face.
Odigie who was speaking during a one-day symposium tagged ”Curbing school dropout and drug abuse” in Awka, said the malaise was more prevalent in a university in Awka.
He said that from the command’s recent arrests of drug offenders in the state, female students of that university (name withheld) were majorly those who formed the offenders, harping on the need for re-orientation.
Odigie regretted the general high rate of drug abuse in tertiary institutions, saying it was an indication that students allowed themselves to be influenced in the school environment where they enjoyed more freedom.
According to him, there was high rate of drug abuse in tertiary institutions due to the absence of school hostels on campuses, making it difficult to control students who abused those substances.
‘For instance, the majority of UNIZIK students live off-campus in lodges where neither the landlords nor caretakers are around to control them. If they are to be within the school premises, the story would have been different,’ he said.
He identified shisha, a popular local hard drug consumed by youths, using pipes; as the most widely abused by the female students.
Odigie said the failure of parents to care and monitor their children’s activities in the tertiary institutions was one of the contributory factors for the high rate of social ills in society, and tasked parents not to leave the training of their wards to teachers alone.
‘We’ll however continue to sensitize the public on the dangers of drug abuse, urging other government agencies and NGOs to gear their activities towards the sensitization of the masses on drug abuse, and encourage people to always report cases of abuse to the command,’ he said.