By Mercy Hill
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, and Young Pharmacist Group, YPG, in collaboration with the Senior Special Assistant to the Anambra State Governor on Pharmaceutical matters, Hon. Chibuzor Okaa, held an awareness and enlightenment campaign through the streets of the Anambra capital, Awka, on Saturday, January 26, in a quest to warn against the inherent dangers of illicit drug use and electoral violence by youths in the forthcoming elections.
The rally which kicked off from Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, through the Enugwu-Onitsha Expressway, up to Regina Caeli Junction and to Oby Okoli Avenue, Okpuno down to the former Abakaliki Street, now Club Street, attracted some of the crème de la crème in the pharmaceutical sector, as well as youth group leaders and students of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Nnamdi Azikiwe and the Anambra State Universities.
The initiative which had as its theme, ''No to Illicit Drug Use, Shun Electoral Violence'', had the participants holding several placards, banners and flyers with inscriptions such as ''Stop! Say No to Election Violence!!'', ''No to illicit drug use!'', ''No to wee wee, to cocaine, codeine, tramadol'', among others.
In an interview with newsmen, the convener of the campaign, Hon. Pharmacist Chibuzor Okaa, urged people to take note of the dead end of illicit drug use, even as he urged youths to shun all practices that could lead to election violence.
Speaking on the importance of the exercise, the state chairman, PSN, Pharmacist Patrick Obi, said the group saw the need for advocacy because of the obvious cases and ordeals the country was faced with due to drug abuse. He however enjoined people to avoid Drug Abuse.
For his part, the YPG coordinator, Anambra Chapter, Pharmacist Hillary Toho, explained that it was the responsibility of professionals in the field to embark on such awareness campaign so as to enlighten the people on the critical dangers and societal undoing caused by wrong usage of drugs.