The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr. Ahmadu Giade, on Thursday in Lagos State unveiled a club of Nigerian celebrities as “models” in campaign against drug abuse and trafficking.
The club – ‘NDLEA Celebrities Drug Free Club – is an initiative of The Drug Salvation Foundation, a non-governmental organisation affiliated to the agency.
The models comprised renowned Nigerian producers, entertainers, actors and actresses like Dayo Adeneye (aka D1); the President of the Actor Guild of Nigeria, Ibinabor Fiberesima; Afam Chiazor, Femi Aderibigbe (Kwame), Fred Amata, Azuh Arinze, Uche Nnaji, Moji Oyetayo (aka Mama Ajasko), among others.
Giade, who was represented by the Director, Drug Demand Reduction, Mr. Baba Hussein, said the personalities of the celebrities would have a great influence in curbing drug abuse among the youth.
He said, “The formation of this club is another step in the agency’s drug-free club initiative in schools. The celebrities will act as role models to the youth population. Given the influence you have on young people, we have no doubt that your involvement in our fight against the menace of drugs in Nigeria will yield positive results.”
In addition, the club, under the agency’s DDR, is saddled with the responsibilities of enlightening the youths on dangers of illicit drugs and promoting positive youth-oriented programmes that provide alternative activities to drug involvement.
The prospective campaign, themed, “Anti-Drug Heroes Campaign-2014,” is meant to be carried out nationwide starting with Lagos State.
TDSF President, Mr. Wilson Ighodalo, said the initiative was meant to redeem the image of the country as a transit point for drug trafficking, give assurance to the drug addicts who had become helpless and provide rehabilitation for them. Ighodalo added that the wine-green ribbon of the foundation’s symbol signified the danger of the plant-generated drugs.
When asked about the basis for the selection of the celebrities for the campaign, Hussein said their endorsement was a product of thorough screening, adding that any of them could be removed at any time if found with questionable habits.
“I want to assure you that they have been carefully selected among other celebrities. If along the line it is proven that any of them is/are on drugs, we will disclaim the person(s),” he added.
The Commander Lagos State NDLEA, Mr. Sule Aliyu, commended the foundation and implored the celebrities to rise up to the tasks before them and be good ambassadors to Nigerian youths.
The selected stars were also presented with certificates of merit during the occasion. On behalf of the awardees, D1 and Fiberisima, promised to strive for a drug free society and be good models.
Also in attendance were the representatives of the United Nations on drugs and Crime, Mr. Glen Richard; and Immigration Technical Advisor, Consulate General of France, Mr. Martial Genevee.