The Executive Director, Campaign Against Drugs and Substance Abuse, Valentine Ani, popularly known as Zhyon in the entertainment industry, has urged entertainers to use their respective platforms to tackle the challenges posed by drug and substance abuse in Nigeria.
Speaking during the NGO’s media launch at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos State, he said youths were fond of entertainment, adding that entertainers should be at the forefront of leading the campaign against the abuse of illicit drugs in the country.
He said, “I am from a background where drugs have really created havoc and that is why I took it upon myself to get some people that are also passionate about this course to form a front and begin to campaign against it.
“Entertainment is no doubt something that the youths cannot do without. The truth is that we have been producing more of the negative aspects of what our creativity can do. Entertainment is a force that if properly channeled, it will create positive changes.
“But most of our colleagues are somehow guilty of drug use and drug abuse. I know that if we are able to do this from within the entertainment industry, it will be a lot faster in taking this message to the youth and then getting the youths off drugs because entertainers are like icon and once we are able to get all hands on deck across board, I think the awareness against drug abuse will spread faster.”
Zhyon said he collaborated with organisations including the Advocate for Global Peace International, Aforevo TV, Afestac Media, among others, adding that plans had been concluded to use entertainment to campaign against drug abuse at various schools.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, African Youths Initiative on Crime Prevention, Amb. Chris Ibeh, described the entertainment industry as the greatest influencers of drug-related issues in Nigeria and globally.
“There have been instances where Nigeria musicians push drug issues in their videos while some of them died as a result of drugs and substance abuse.
“So, it is a thing of joy that we now have stakeholders from the entertainment industry coming to say no to drugs and substance abuse. This is a step forward in complimenting the efforts of the NDLEA,” Ibeh said.