OGBOMOSO FIRST COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
(aka ‘O’ 1ST GROUP)
PRESENTATION MADE TO PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DRUG ABUSE (PACEDA) ON THE PREVALENCE OF DRUG & SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN OGBOMOSO, OYO STATE ON TUESDAY 5TH FEBRUARY, 2019
- OGBOMOSO FIRST COMMUNITY INITIATIVE (aka ‘O 1ST GROUP) is a socio cultural organization which has been involved in the socio-economic development of our community and the state at large through empowerment of indigent people. We have also through our initiatives pioneered the community’s Fight Against Drug & Substance Abuse in Ogbomosoland.
- Because of our closeness to the community, we have noticed decadence in our 5 Local Government Areas especially among the youth and the vulnerable in the past 5 years.
- We have also observed vices that were not common occurrences in the past cropping up.
- Some of the vices include but not limited to yahoo ++, armed robbery, rape, political thuggery, abuse of drugs, pharmaceutical preparations and cannabis sativa.
- With the attendant potential for insecurity of lives, properties and most especially the future of the community when majority of the youths are drug dependent.
- This becomes a threat to NATIONAL SECURITY.
- This was the wake-up call for us to immediately initiate steps & measures to curtail the prevalence of the drug abuse.
- While considering measures to combat the drug prevalence, we also observed that the state of the economy of individuals in our community, as a result of high rate of youth unemployment and lack of skills have further deepened the insecurity and heightened crime rate within the society.
- The common denominator to all of the above is the high rate of consumption and abuse of various drugs and substances which are inimical to the health of the consumers who constitute societal menace.
The Ogbomoso situation is unique in view of the following:–
- It’s a Youth Driven Town
- The town is cosmopolitan
- The Ogbomoso indigenes are widely travelled both nationally and internationally
- Ogbomoso land is very fertile for cultivation
- Ogbomoso is highly populated with a population of about 1,200,000 inhabitants as at 2015.
- Its geographical location is bridging the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria
- Proximity to Lagos, Ondo, Osun & Kwara States
- Proximity to International Boarders i.e. Republic of Benin
- Presence of immigrants from Ghana, Niger, Benin, India & China among others
- Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso. The frequent strike actions by the Academic & Non-Academic Staff Unions of the University due to absolute neglect and lack of funding by the two owner States of Oyo and Osun has adversely affected the students. Many of the 35,000 strong students stay back in the town during the strike actions and engage in unwholesome activities including use of drugs and various substances with its attendant results.
STEPS TAKEN SO FAR BY ‘O’ 1ST GROUP
- Empowerment of indigent people with 100 sewing machines
- Sponsorship and active participation in the 2018 UNITED NATIONS DAY on FIGHT AGAINST DRUG ABUSE AND ILLICIT TRAFFICKING through
- Radio talk show
- Lecture in LAUTECH on the theme LISTEN FIRST TO THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH.
- 1000-man march around Ogbomoso Township.
- Distribution of thousands of exercise books branded with the 2018 UNITED NATIONS THEME on FIGHT AGAINST DRUG ABUSE AND ILLICIT TRAFFICKING i.e. ‘LISTEN FIRST TO THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH’. They were distributed to students of selected secondary schools, LAUTECH and Drug Free Clubs. The exercise books also have pictures of resultant effects of drug abuse at the back.
- Sensitization programs
- Development of Radio & Television jingles and programs.
- Production and circulation of ‘ZERO TOLERANCE STICKERS’ in hotels, drinking joints and recreational facilities.
- Inauguration of Drug Free Clubs in schools
- Inter-Secondary Schools Anti-Drug Abuse Quiz Competition
- Inter–Secondary Schools Anti-Drug Abuse Debate Competition.
- Inter–Secondary Schools Anti-Drug Abuse Essay Competition
- Establishment of a mini drug rehabilitation center i.e. DROP-IN-CENTER for counselling and treatment is in progress.
- We have recently acquired starter packs for some training programs such as hair dressing, petroleum jelly production, sanitizer production, liquid soap production etc. They will be distributed to indigent people within the next few weeks.
THE WAY FORWARD
- One of the major driving forces of Ogbomoso First Community Initiative in this project is our observed lack of interest of both the State and Local Governments in tackling this problem. Thus our recommendation for a JOINT ACTION COMMITTEE comprising ‘O’ 1ST GROUP, NDLEA & State and Local Governments.
- At the Local Government level, we can have the JOINT ACTION COMMITTEE made up of ‘O’ 1ST GROUP, LG Command of the NDLEA & the Local Government and Ward representatives.
- In view of our passion for this War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), we are prepared to work with PACEDA to replicate this structure at all levels of Government.
- Upgrading of the OFCI/NDLEA DROP-IN-CENTER in Ogbomoso to a FULL FLEDGED DRUG REHABILITATION CENTER for the SOUTH WEST GEO-POLITICAL ZONE.
- Setting up of DROP-IN-CENTERS at various Senatorial Districts
- Logistics support for sensitization of the society against drug and substance abuse e.g. sponsorship of TV & Radio programs, jingles and promotional documentaries.
- Inclusion of DRUG RELATED ISSUES in the curriculum of our schools at all levels of education.
- Provision of grants for research to produce data on all aspects of drugs i.e. availability, consumption pattern etc.
- Universities to test fresh students for drug and substance abuse for counselling and monitoring.
- Provision of grants to make available test equipment and necessary chemical reagents.
- Concept of alternative development i.e. changing them from drug abusers to responsible citizens through provision of training and starter packs for the rehabilitated ones.
While thanking you for the opportunity to make this presentation, we look forward to partnering with the Federal Government in curbing the prevalence of drug and substance abuse in Ogbomoso and the nation at large.
OTUNBA ADEBAYO BABATUNDE
ENGR. AKINLOYE OYEKOLA