President Bola Tinubu has emphasized the need to avoid stigmatizing individuals who are victims of drug use. He stated that such stigmatization hinders their ability to seek necessary care and support. Speaking in his capacity as the chairman of MTN Foundation during the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking celebration at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, President Tinubu supported the theme of the event, “People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention.”
President Tinubu endorsed the theme, which highlights the importance of prioritizing the well-being and dignity of those affected by drug abuse. He emphasized the significance of providing effective prevention and treatment interventions and recognizing the inherent worth of individuals affected by drug abuse.
President Tinubu acknowledged that certain vulnerable populations, such as women, young people, marginalized communities, high-risk drug users, those displaced by armed conflicts or natural disasters, and people in rural areas, face stigma, discrimination, and exclusion from mainstream opportunities. He stressed the need to remove social and structural stigmas that prevent these individuals from accessing healthcare and social services to address their drug use problems.
The president emphasized the importance of educating the public about the dangers of drug abuse and the need to stop stigmatization and discrimination. He called for support for individuals affected by drug abuse and emphasized the empowerment of young people with knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their lives. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of providing resources to help victims of drug abuse avoid falling into further addiction.