“Speak Out” was watchword of the day as former vice-presidential candidate, Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya and StartnowAfrica took the war against drugs, rape, depression, sexual abuse and suicidal behavior to Yaba College of Technology(YABATECH).
The rate of drug abuse, suicide, rape, depression and violence amongst Nigerian students/Youth has been so alarming which prompted a mental health awareness conference organized by StartnowAfrica and the Alumni Society of Yabatech in partnership with Movement against Drug Abuse and Violence(MADAV),Human Development initiative, GbetuTv and Gryn index initiative.
The event which took place at the Alumni Hall in YABATECH, on Thursday, 3rd October, had in attendance Mrs Olusola Somoye, college Director of Education representing the Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo; Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya, 2019 ANN, Vice presidential aspirant; Mrs.Adebowale Tayewo, Polytechnic Librarian; Mr. Joe Ejiofor, college P.R.O; Moremi Ojudu, Youth Activist, Lecturer, Dr. Idowu Aneyo and other important personnel
While speaking on the theme: Drug Abuse, Depression, Rape and Suicide: NOT IN MY CAMPUS, Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya said, “We need to watchout for one another,” in other to curb the increasing number of rape victims in our society.
“We need to look beyond this one is a Christian or a Muslim.”
“We are civilized, we are educated. Education should groom you enough for you to understand that, this person is human being first before any other title.”
“If you have been raped, don’t think that’s the end of the world, talk to somebody.”
On depression and suicide, Khadijah says, “When you are going through a hard time, remember the good things in your life. If you think it’s getting bad, get a therapist or a good book to read. Focus on the good in your life and forget about being depressed.
Anything that makes you feel different; anything that makes you want to totally isolate yourself from people, any peer pressure that makes you want to fit at all cost… these are the signs of depression, as summarized by Moremi while chatting with the students, lecturers and highly respected guests.
Speaking with the convener, Ohore Emmanuel, he said the only way to achieve a suicide, drug, violence, depression and rape free society is to continually keep the awareness going among students and youths .He said that the #Notinmycampus tour which kicked off at YABATECH will continue in UNILAG, LASU and LASPOTECH.
While speaking on drug abuse and depression, Polytechnic Librarian, Mrs. Adebowale Tayewo, strongly advice that students and every other persons avoid drugs at all cost.
Adebowale believes on taste of drug can lead to ‘drug tour’.
She says, “As a student, you have to be careful. Be careful of the peer pressure. Don’t join those that will introduce you to drugs. Don’t join them; don’t play with it; don’t go near it at all. There is no testing, it attracts, if you take it once you will want to try it again.”
“In your life, avoid anything drug, the end is not good. At the end of the day, it only leads to madness.”
Supporting the motion, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo, said it will be better to immediately cut-off friends that deals with any form of drug.
Speaking through her assistant, on Education to YABATECH, Mrs Olusola Somoye, she applauded the organizer, StartnowAfrica and encouraged them to continue the mental boast program.
“As much as possible, let us encourage each other,” she concluded.
In summary, Mr Joe Ejiofor said the college has put everything in place to help students in every way it can and all students going through these issues should approach. He also encouraged students to take advantage of the Sports Complex to blow off steam.
Many students also got to share their brilliant opinions which were mostly trashed with solution and others noted.
The event ended with walk around the college synthesizing students.