by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kaduna State Chapter, has decried the rise in drug abuse and addiction among youths in southern Kaduna, saying it has caused them to be caught off guard when bandits launch attacks in their communities.
The state chairman of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab, expressed this dismay during week at a victory praise and worship march in Kafanchan, Jema’a local government area of Kaduna state.
Hayab said the menace of drug abuse is fast eating deep into the fabric of the society, noting that swift and decisive action must be taken to arrest the ugly trend.
“CAN in Kaduna state is saying ‘No’ to drug addiction, and that’s why we came to Kafanchan, to speak to pastors, women and youths, if there’s anything they can do for us to overcome this because, if you are in your senses when an enemy strikes, you will know how to react.
“But when you are drunk and out of your mind, an enemy can even destroy you, and you have nothing and you will not be useful to the society, neither can you help yourself,” he said.
According to him, people, who take drugs to fight their enemies, often turn onto their family and friends around them when such enemies are long gone.
“We must preach against drugs in our churches, in our community meetings and everywhere. And that is why I am challenging pastors today. If you don’t speak against drugs, the problem will only get worse.
“If you are angry and you take drugs and you go and fight, once there is no enemy, the addicted person will turn against his family and friends,” he noted.
He said CAN was looking to discourage women from selling local drinks, also known as burukutu, by training them on financial literacy and giving them seed capital to start viable small businesses.
“Even the sales of alcohol, we want to stop it; but we cannot just stop it without giving alternatives. So we are willing to help women, who are selling local drinks to stop it and we’ll give them an alternative business and little capital to start the business, because we want to see a better community – a community of peace, prosperity and good health; because drug addicts disrupt all these things and that is what we want to fight,” he added.
He appealed to governments at all levels to support agencies working to rehabilitate drug addicts, saying, “If there is anything we need to do now, we need to work together. Government must support agencies working to help rehabilitate drug addicts.”
The CAN chairman said the Victory March was organized to give thanks to God for preserving the lives of the people of Southern Kaduna. He also expressed appreciation to God for the relative peace being enjoyed in the region, following months of continuous unprovoked attacks by bandits.
Highlights of the event were renditions of Praise and Worship songs and prayers for Southern Kaduna as well as a Victory March.