…As Psychiatrist decries harmful use of alcohol, drugs by young Nigerians***
Four persons were killed and 10 buildings destroyed in a suspected cult clash at Afokeplla in the Etsako-East Local Government Area of Edo last Monday.
The newsmen who visited the area on Friday reported that residents of the community are living in fear following the attack and reprisal attack by members of the cult groups.
A resident of the community, Mr Ahmed Seidu, told the newsmen that the killings were as a result of a misunderstanding between members of rival cults groups in the community.
“The crisis escalated when one of the leaders of one of the cult groups was shot dead, resulting in a show of force by the rival groups.
“Since Monday, we have been living in fear, hoping that the situation will be brought under control by the security agencies,’’ Seidu said.
The Chairman of the council, Mr Aremiyau Momoh, who visited the community, confirmed that 10 buildings were set ablaze in the attack on the community.
Momoh said the council had imposed a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in the community, until the situation was brought under control.
“The cult crisis which started on Monday has led to the killing of four persons and the destruction of 10 buildings in the community.
“The police have commenced investigation and very soon, those who are found wanting will be brought to book.
“The community is now devoid of its usual busy commercial activities as residents have gone into hiding for fear of reprisal attacks, while the police are on ground doing their investigation.
“As chairman of the council, I have imposed a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in the community and anyone found wanting at this hour would be arrested and handed over to the security agencies.’’
However, when the newsmen contacted the Edo Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Chidi Nwanbuzor, on the matter, he said that the command was not aware of the situation.
“We don’t have that report yet at our command, I will have to get across to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Okpella on this development,’’ he said.
In the meantime, Dr Abayomi Olajide, a Psychiatric physician, has raised alarm over the menace of harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents in the country.
Olajide told the newsmen on Friday in Abuja that more youths were indulging in the consumption of heroine, codeine, tramadol and cannabis.
He called for urgent measures to arrest the ugly trend to prevent recording more victims of mental illness.
He said that this had become a major issue in many developed and developing countries, noting that it has led to risky behaviour of underage, sex, crime, violence and dangerous driving.
He called on health professionals, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and policy makers to join hands and fight the menace in a responsible and responsive manner that would not jeopardise the integrity of the society.
He said that the fight would ensure that the better health
outcome of the population were affected, adding that it is imperative to help
the young people mental resilience.
The medical practitioner also disclosed that mood disorder particularly depression was a leading cause of disability among adolescents.
According to him, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 to 29.
He said that promoting and protecting adolescents’ health
often brought benefits to the society and the economy while healthy young
adults were able to make qualitative impact to the workforce.
Besides, he called on parents and teachers to help build social life of children and adolescents to help them cope with everyday challenges at home and school with needed counselling.
The expert advised against stigma and discrimination of people living with mental illness or taking alcohol and recommended employing love method to correct them.