The Nigerian Navy, Western Naval Command with children and staff of Immanuel Anglican School, Apapa, Lagos.
The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday organised a seminar to educate youths, particularly children and staff of Immanuel Anglican School, Apapa, on the dangers associated with drug abuse.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, spoke at a free medical rhapsody which held at Immanuel Anglican School, Apapa, Lagos State.
According to him, the seminar is necessary because of the increase in incidents of drug abuse in the society.
Gbassa said that bringing the seminar to the school was a way of nipping the problem of drug abuse in society in the bud.
“The effect of drugs in our society particularly the youths is far reaching with negative consequences in society.
“The navy is a place where we recruit youths each year and if we do not get it right at this point, people will come into the force with a problem of negative drug abuse.
“Invariantly, this will impact on our operations so, we are in a way, trying to nip the problem in the bud,” he said.
Gbassa said the importance of eliminating drug abuse was so urgent that even a commission had been set up at the national level to address the issue.
“A part of the security problems we are facing is due to youths abusing drugs across the country.
“It is from this premise that the navy has decided to focus on negating drug abuse among our youths,” the FOC said.
He said the Nigerian navy had a tradition of regularly reaching out to host communities as part of measures to enhance people in military corporation.
Gbassa said that the Nigerian navy’s commitment to its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was a key priority in the vision of the Chief Of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo.
“The vision aims at sustaining partnership and catering for the welfare of the host communities in which any naval formation is domiciled.
“This outreach is therefore organised as part of the activities covering social responsibility objectives.
“The Immanuel Anglican School is chosen because of its importance to the upbringing of children in this environment,” he said.
The FOC said the seminar offered public health and educational services to ensure the beauty and hope of the future generations of this nation.
He, however, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had limited the scope of the 2021 medical outreach.
“Owing to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, this year’s medical outreach cannot be organised in the elaborate form we normally do it.
“The restrictions due to the pandemic has disallowed us to gather people in large numbers for the medical rhapsody which is the norm before the COVID-19 restrictions,” he said.
Gbassa said he was optimistic that the medical outreach would further strengthen the long standing cordial relationship between the Nigerian navy and the Apapa community.
Rev. Basil Iberosi, in his remarks, said that the Anglican church and the community were grateful to the Nigerian navy for the kind gesture because they were impacting positive life to the younger ones.
Iberosi said that drug abuse was doing a lot of havoc to the society and that this kind of programme was welcomed to help the young ones to avoid drugs.
The reverend noted that parents had a role to perform in this regard by monitoring and not becoming negligent to activities of their children.
“I urge parents to pay close attention to their children and try to understand the life that they are living.
“By this means, we will be able to checkmate the level of drug abuse in the society,” he said.
Iberosi appealed to the Nigerian navy to organise such programmes on a regular basis and also extend the service in subsequent programme to other members of the community and the church.
“As a result of lack of funds, people cannot access the right medical care for their health challenges. This programme will go a long way to solve such problems in the community.
“Apart from the students, the navy, in subsequent programmes can invite members of the church and the community to be beneficiaries of such programmes.
“This will create better impact for their services,” the reverend said.
Master Eugene Paul, A Junior Secondary School 3 (JSS) student of the school said he was grateful for the seminar and that he would avoid bad associations henceforth.
Also, Miss Vivian Uwaoma, a JSS 2 student, thanked the navy for the enlightenment programme and promised to stay clear of bad behaviour detrimental to the society.
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