BEING THE REPORT OF AN EMERGENCY TOWN MEETING ORGANISED BY OYO GLOBAL FORUM
THEME: PUBLIC EDUCATION, DRUG ABUSE AND VIOLENCE
The thesis of the meeting was divided into three sub-themes; drug abuse, parenting/Community responsibility/ Value System, security and safe schooling. On the drug abuse, the following were the suggestions and pledges made by the various stakeholders that were represented at the meeting.
Theme 1: Drug Abuse
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency were ably represented by a director from Oyo state chapter, he noted that there is too much attention on Indian hemp and marijuana at the neglect of other forms of substance abuse. He further informed the audience that people abuse various types of cough syrups. He went to say that we are contributors to the menace of drug abuse in our societies owing to our carefree attitude. His words”Everyone wants to solve drug abuse problem but no one is really working to solve it”. All hand must be on deck if there is going to be meaningful solution to the problem. He then pledged the agency’s full support while citing logistics as a major problem they are facing in the conduct of their duties. Some other challenges they are being faced with are inability of community members to provide useful information on drug barons and dealers. He also mentioned that charging drug abusers to court has not always been realistic because the number of offenders is more than what the court can handle at any point in time. He retorted that the drug pushers, those selling in large scale are within our system, within the community. He commended the vigilante group whom he said had been working effectively in collaboration with the agency. He suggested that counselling is at the core of solution to the menace of drug abuse, he further opined that another means of helping our young ones is to change their belief system. He then concluded that people should provide information to NDLEA discretely without the knowledge of third party/abusers. He advised that even one’s spouse must not be in the know whenever one has information about drug abuser (s).
Summary of NDLEA’s basic needs from the Oyo community
- Politicians’ co-operation and understanding
- If you are giving information, do not let them know.
Theme 2: Parenting/ Community responsibility/ Value System
On the podium to talk about this theme was Arch. Ayo Ladigbolu representing Oyo Metropolitan Development Association (OMDA). In his word, he said ‘the entire Oyo community and especially the OMDA recognise and commend the sustained efforts of OGF to make Oyo town a better place to live.
Baba reported that on the 1st November 2016, there was a meeting at Atiba Town Hall. In attendance were compound leaders, family leaders, religious leaders, trade association representatives and other stakeholders.
He retorted that Oyo town is now bearing many bad names we never heard of.
Bishop affirmed that adolescents of school-going age in Oyo town now engage in weed smoking, substance abuse and other dangerous drugs.
He further contented that the whole Oyo community fully support the new Educational Policy of 50% pass mark for promotion introduced by Oyo State Government.
Our parents should be aware that child-rearing is a collective effort.
Parents should indulge the habit of paying frequent visits to their wards’ schools.
Parents should be friends of their children’s teachers.
Parents should not leave their wards for the school to teach and as well be the only institution to care for them and teach them moral.
Bishop concluded that causatively, parents contributed to the violence; some parents folded their arms watching their children destroying school properties and beating their teachers.
Theme 3: Security and Safe Schooling
The position of the Police
Police also put blame on the parents. “Don’t beat my children” syndrome is now the order of day. Parents now have negative attitude toward the discipline of their wards. The representatives of the Nigerian Police Force also put emphasis on counselling. They advised that parents should desist from over pampering and asking people not to discipline their children. He concluded that automatic promotion would not ensure proper academic success
Hon. Olagunju Muideen’s Position
OGF should begin to organise awareness and campaigns in schools on the themes of the town Hall meeting.
Parents should buy books for their children.
He urged government to begin to provide running grants to schools which has been cancelled in the last two years to avoid schools asking students to bring money to buy school materials.
Proper monitoring and supervision of schools should be effected.
He pointed out that NDLEA know marijuana joints, therefore, they need no information to act. They may only need information from people concerning those selling clandestinely.
Hon. Akeem Adeyemi’s Position
Security agencies are not performing their functions. Negligence and dereliction of duty is why they are not arresting smokers.
Oyos should hold their representatives for smoking joints.
Police and NDLEA should swing into action and begin dismantling the smoking joints.
Atiba DPO’s Position
Police have been arresting smokers but the powerful ones get them freed and they have not been supporting them in their investigation to identify criminals.
Hon. Gbenga Oyekola
Through his representative, he also promised unalloyed supports to 50% requirement promotion policy in our schools. He promised to cooperate with the OGF in our fight against drug abuse.
Senator Monsurat’s Position
She (through her representative) affirmatively said she is ready to support OGF’s sensitisation programmes.
Clerics in the community should include in their sermons the effects of drug abuse.
Other Important points noted.
- The meeting resolution should be circulated to media houses and round the community probably through print.
- PTAs in schools should include in their programmes talk on drug abuse and violence.
Actionable Plan based on the report of the town meeting and voice vote as agreed by the audience on the meeting day
The table hereunder depicts some proposed actionable measures to be closely monitored by the Oyo Global Forum and the executors within a period of time.
|Clearing out of all WEED-SELLING JOINTS||NDLEA, POLICE and public Office holders||Dec. 31st 2016|
|Principals and School authorities school clear out all hidden joints and black spots with their various secondary schools.||Principals, community leaders, teachers security agencies OGF||Dec. 31st 2016|
|Sensitization, Awareness/enlightenment campaigns in all schools.||OGF (in collaboration with community and public office holders.||3 months (continuous exercise)|
|Parenting and value re-orientation||Parents, religious leaders, clerics OGF||Dec. 31st 2016 (continuous)|
|Counselling Units in all schools Re-introduction of disciplinary measures. Recognition of schools counsellors as ‘School Counsellors’. They should perform the primary functions of counselling rather than teaching/counselling.||Government, OGF, School Principals, School Management, PTA.||3 months|
|Frequent Town Hall Meeting in OYO||OGF and other related forum.||Continuous (every two weeks)|
|Establishment of juvenile rehabilitation centers, court, and NDLEA offices within the heart of the town.||Government NGOs and OGF||3 months|
|Provision of Logistics for NDLEA||OGF|
Report written by the trio of Sanda Ayobami, Agboola Afees and ‘Lasun Azeez