2019: Governorship candidate raises alarm over drug abuse in Kwara
GOVERNORSHIP candidate of the Accord Party in Kwara state, Ayorinde Adedoyin, has raised the alarm over impending danger in the state due to the increasing involvement of youth in drug abuse.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin during the weekend, Adedoyin linked drug abuse to the increase of crime rate and break down of law and order in the state in recent times, adding that it would be difficult to stop crime when the demand for drug is so high.
The governorship candidate, who called on relevant stakeholders to rise up to the challenge, suggested promotion of core values, parental guidance and establishment of rehabilitation centres to address the situation.
“We have to be realistic about what is to come based on what is happening right now. I watched a BBC footage, which talked about drug issue in our society. And I was shocked when they pointed to Kwara state as one of the main sources of supply. I tried to find out what is going on, and I realised that we were shouting cultism before in the state as a big problem, but the main problem we have in Kwara state as at today among the youth, is drug abuse, and if something is not done quickly, we may be sitting on kegs of gunpowder.
“You can’t stop crime when the demand for drug is so high. But how can you stop that when you have a health system that is totally run down. We have four general hospitals or so and nothing is happening there. I think it is about time, either we encourage the possibility of someone or an institution to set up something like rehab that can take care of this. Soon, I hope you won’t hear one boy or girl shoots the mother. It is getting that bad.
“We can pretend that it is not there but until it gets so close to us, when the damage comes, that is when people will now start talking. But based on the information I have, it is getting toward that now, and something serious really needs to be done,” he said.
Adedoyin, who said that his priority, if elected as governor of Kwara state, would be the provision of potable water, added that water provision supports all other developments like health, living standards.
“Provision of potable water is a key thing. We can talk about agriculture, health if we don’t have water, the two can’t work. Let me give you another example. If the government decides today that they want to build mechanised boreholes in all 193 wards in Kwara State and pipe them, you have an IGR of about N1.9billion every month. If that can be done, one of the major problems is almost solved. Do we really need to dig that? We can repair most of these boreholes. If it is not for greed, I think local governments, even based on what they said they are receiving now, should be able to maintain the boreholes within the local governments.
“And we now look at the health system. If you drink water, and you have issues, you will go to the hospital. The stress level in Kwara now, most of the time, you need to go and see your doctor. When they are not even available, what do you do? Most of the hospitals in Kwara today, I don’t want to say they are bad, they are wonderful. And that is the truth as at where we are today.
“We really need to tackle the cottage hospitals around the state. We need to buy beds, we need to make sure they have basic things and we need to supply the drugs. And when they can provide that primary care, if they need a referral, you will take them to bigger hospitals. In Kwara State, we have health insurance organisation. It is not like it cannot work, but are they making it work? Most of the hospitals we have around don’t have personnel and drugs. It is not like we don’t have the answer to our problem but we just refused to look at where that problem is and continued to live with the problem.
“I keep saying to people that Kwara needs help. But the people that will render that help to us are still Kwarans that have overlooked where they come from, now believe that they are Lagosians or they are from Kaduna, forgetting that the same Kwara they are looking at and say I don’t have the time, it is the same Kwara that invested money and time in building them up to where they have gotten today.
“The truth is that Kwara people are not asking for too much. They are just asking for the basics, and it is not like we can’t afford the basics. How can a government say you are budgeting about N180billion a year for running cost, recurrent and capital. Now, you said you pay N2.2billion as salary every month, how is that possible? If that is so, why do you have to go and contract out most of the jobs you do,” he said.