Incessant strikes affect mental health of students, WAANSA tells FG
By Paul Michael
• Makes case for standing committee, inclusion of Marwa
The Nigerian chapter of the West Africa Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA-Nigeria), has said incessant and prolong academic strike actions affect the mental health of young people.
WAANSA-Nigeria, an umbrella organisation of several Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), spoke on Monday via a paper signed by its President, Temitope Lamidi and Director of Media and Advocacy, Martin Igwe and presented in Plateau state to mark this year’s World Mental Health Day.
The organization said prolong strike could cause depression on students, which affects mental health, which could force many into drug abuse.
It further stressed that violent behaviours which are caused by mental illness are on the increase, noting that such poses a threat to peace and National Security.
WAANSA-Nigeria urged the government to constitute a standing committee to handle issues of strike while saying that the Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen Mohamed Marwa (Rtd) should be part of such committee.
“We welcome you all to this year’s World Mental Health Day, as Nigeria grapple with the reality of Post Covid 19 Economic situation which negatively affected mental health, fueled short- and long-term stresses.
“Pockets of conflict in Nigeria mostly perpetrated by persons under the influence of drugs have destroyed our health infrastructure and widened the ratio between the medical officers and patients.
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“WAANSA Nigeria is concerned about the negative impact of Drugs to Mental Health and wellbeing, as violent behaviour which comes due to Mental Illness increase remains threat to peace and National Security hence the urgent need for relevant stakeholders to understand the unfortunate health reality with the view of finding lasting solutions starting with ‘kicking drug abuse out of Nigeria’.
“To demonstrate WAANSA Nigeria Commitment not to reduce this year’s theme to rhetoric’s we appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a standing committee to tackle issues of incessant strikes.
“We also urge Mr President to approve the inclusion of the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, General Buba Marwa (Rtd) to such negotiating team with a presidential mandate to educate the team on the impacts of long strike to Mental Health of millions of parents and their children.
“The negative impact of strike to mental health, peace and security of the nation cannot be underestimated. As such, a prolong strike such as the one carried out by the Academic Staff Union ofUniversities (ASUU) should not be encouraged and tolerated going forward.
“National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has done well in recent time, hence the need for them to join hands to stop any social situation capable of truncating their effort to kick Drug Abuse out of Nigeria.
“Finally, as Nigeria mobilizes for another election all hands must be on deck to ensure stable Mental Health Polity. This remains a sure guarantee to peaceful election come 2023,” WAANSA-Nigeria stated.
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