By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A participant at the yearly Young African Leaders Initiative, (YALI) programme tagged: ‘YALI Love Story’, Umar Sadiq, said he lost the Students Union Government, (SUG) Presidency in 2009 due to drug abuse.
He made the disclosure at this year’s YALI Love Story hang out held in Kaduna on Saturday where members come together to share their love stories on the impacts they have made in their communities through their pet projects.
Sadiq, who is the Administrator of Heyik Secondary School, Kakuri, in Kaduna South Local Government Area, said what led him into drug abuse happened in 2009 when he was a student in Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic Zaria.
According to him, he contested for the SUG President, but then a tragic event occurred where he was coerce to take Tramadol in order to boost his sexual libido by a friend, unfortunately this singular action marked a turning point in his life as the sexual pleasure he intended to have with a lady almost cost him his life, and he never had the fun with the said lady till date.
“This almost killed me because I was unconscious for over three hours after taking the drug. When I regained consciousness the story had gone viral and everyone on campus taunted me, saying; this guy that cannot even meet with a woman and had to take drugs yet cannot still perform, so I fell out of the race, and that was my redemption.
“When people share their stories like mine, it will serve as a deterrent to other young people who are indulging or want to go into substance abuse,” he said.
Sadiq called on governments at all levels to key into pet projects young people are doing across board and partner or sponsor some of the projects being executed by them this will go a long way to give young people a better voice in the society.
The Deputy Coordinator of YALI Network Kaduna State, Nina Mba, said the day’s event is bringing young people together to share stories about their love for their communities.
She explained that the event started in 2018 and holds annually in February; adding that the choice of February was because of what it stands for – Valentine’s month, where a day is set aside for people to share love like exchange of gifts to one another.
In his contribution, a member of YALI in Kaduna, Ephraim Ebene, while tasking the youth on information they sent out to the public, cautioned the public to always stop, reflect and verify information they received before sending out such messages to avoid conflicts in the society.
Earlier, a Mandela Washington Fellow with YALI, Jonah Yahaya, said the day’s event aimed at celebrating young people’s love for their communities.
He said there are lots of young people doing amazing things for their communities, hence, they are brought together in February every year to share their stories to showcase that love.
Similarly, former Programmes Director of YALI, Gloria Kasang, said the event is solely to impact communities and thereby encourage others to do same.
Kasang urged other youth to take a look at what others are doing for their communities and follow suit.