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Disturbing surge in drug use, masturbation among Ibadan pry sch pupils worrisome

The growing incidence of drug use among pupils in public schools in Ibadan has become a pressing concern, as highlighted by Funmilayo Olowoyo, Chief Executive Officer of the Blessed to Be A Blessing Foundation.

Speaking at the 10th anniversary event of the foundation, which focuses on providing hope to orphans, the underprivileged, and rural communities, Olowoyo brought to light the troubling rise in drug use, masturbation, and other social vices within these educational institutions.

Olowoyo detailed the disturbing trend, pointing out that young girls in these schools are often victims of sexual abuse, while boys are introduced to drug use by older individuals who exploit them to purchase drugs from dealers near the school premises.

“It is alarming that primary school children are now engaging in various social vices. They are exposed to drugs, masturbation, and other harmful activities. At the adolescent and youth wing of the Lambo ward at the University College Hospital, children as young as nine years old are being admitted for drug use,” Olowoyo stated.

During a visit to a public primary school to discuss health issues such as ringworm, Olowoyo was shocked to discover that some pupils were already aware of drug use and could even identify the local drug dealers operating around their school.

“If you visit urban slums like Inalende and Idikan areas in Ibadan, it is not uncommon to see children, even at 10 a.m., consuming drugs provided by older boys. These communities are increasingly becoming hotspots for drug dealers,” she added.

The foundation, in its decade-long mission, has extended support to 445 orphans, including those with mental health challenges such as epilepsy. Olowoyo expressed hope and urged Nigerians to come together to support vulnerable children in their communities, emphasizing the need for greater community engagement with relevant stakeholders to address this growing menace.

Dr. Opeyemi Ajibola, Chief Medical Director of Care Forth Medical Centre, who also spoke at the event, highlighted that more children are becoming vulnerable due to being left in the care of elderly grandparents, who are often unable to provide adequate supervision and protection.

“The conditions we witness are heart-wrenching. These children lack basic necessities such as shoes, clothes, and food. Their plight is a stark reminder of the urgent need for collective action,” Dr. Ajibola remarked.

The event served as a clarion call for community members, policymakers, and stakeholders to join forces in tackling the escalating issue of drug use among schoolchildren in Ibadan. It underscored the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment for the younger generation to thrive and grow free from the dangers of substance abuse and other social vices.

Tribune

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