By Chibuzor Emejor,
The African Students Union Parliament(ASUP) has begun campaign to sensitise students in the higher institutions of learning in Nigeria and other African countries against the abuse of drugs and other related substances.
Speaker of ASUP, Mr. Abel Kewel, who stated this in Abuja when the leadership of the students body conferred Pan African Leadership Award of Excellence on the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu.
Kewel lamented the high rate of substance abuse by students of higher learning in Africa, calling for concerted efforts to mitigate the menace. He explained that drug abuse could lead to multiple behavioural problems such as paranoia, addiction, loss of self-control, impaired judgment and aggressiveness, among others.
He decried a situation where students have abused cough syrup, warning that these drugs and other related substances have both physical and psychological effects on the students who take them.
Commenting on the award conferred on Nabasu, the Speaker of the ASUP, said he was chosen for “contributing more than a building block towards the advancement of the noble course of pan Africanism through effective and selfless leadership skills.”
Also speaking, Nabasu charged African youths to take up the challenge of the leadership in the Continent, asserting that it is only Africans that can develop Africa.
The Permanent Secretary recalled how the Europeans came to Africa to exploit her natural resources while using Africa as dumping ground for her finished products. He assured that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology was working assiduously to reverse the enduring legacies of colonialism by striving for a knowledge-based economy that would spur the development of both Nigeria and other countries in Africa.
Nabasu further lauded the contributions of other Pan Africanists who shed their blood to ensure that Africa became a free continent and promised to redouble his efforts in the promotion of Pan Africanism.
The African Students Union Parliament is the umbrella body that covers all students within 54 African Union recognised countries with the core objectives of encouraging cooperation and harmonious coexistence among member-states student for the purpose of students exchange programmes and objective analysis of issues that affect them.
The Parliament also encourages stakeholders and public office holders to promote the much-needed peace, development and economic stability of the Continent.