The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has decried rising cases of drug abuse among youth in the country.
He said the prevailing ugly trend has dealt a huge blow on the character of youth thereby exposing to negative tendencies.
Abdulkareem stated this in Ilorin at the official declaration of the 2018 Dawa Holiday Programme organised by the trio of The Companion, The Criterion and The Dawn for selected muslim youth from the five states of the federation.
He noted that as parents and guardians, it was incumbent on them to inculcate in their wards character, regretting that it has been neglected.
The Unilorin VC, who emphasized the importance of character in the upbringing of children, said it transcends all other virtues that one possesses in life.
“Character is the first thing we have to work upon but unfortunately we have totally neglected it. Now, we are having another menace in the society. Our children are on drugs. I can’t even smoke a cigarette talkless of drinking wine or getting intoxicated. But muslim youth are getting into that now.
“And I believe it is because our mothers and our parents are not working on them hard enough. These are the emphasis I want us to be working upon with these youth. But unfortunately we are not paying attention to character well enough, and again a whole human being is not only known for knowledge but character.
“There are characters expected of a muslim. Character is what eventually makes a human being because the westerners could tell you everything is about attitude. Attitude is your character. I’m begging you our mothers, let’s start working on that.
“Let’s start telling these kids from very young age what they can and what they cannot do. Let’s start to inculcate in them as much as possible character building. Because in the end, if somebody made a first class or he is able to memorise Quran or he is so exceptionally gifted in knowledge, if he does not have the character to manage it, that person is in trouble.
“For youth again, we have an advantage. We have the Quran to guide us. So, we have to pick all knowledge from other people in the world. But we must let it reflect in our character”, Abdulkareem said.
Declaring the camping activities open, the state Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Bilkisu Oniyangi, described the programme as part of extra curricular activities required to stimulate social well being of the youth.
Hajia Oniyangi, who represented Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed at the ceremony, congratulated the organisers and urged the delegates to mix and fraternise with people around them.
A Consultant on Psychiatric with the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Dr (Mrs) Bunmi Buhari, in her lecture titled “The Healthy Muslim” expressed displeasure that Muslims were taking their health for granted, saying “it is our duty to look after it because we are going to account for it in the hereafter”.
Also speaking, the National Amir of The Dawn, Nurein Ali Balogun, said the camping programme with more than 500 registered delegates, was designed as a platform to mentor and unite muslim youth.
Dignitaries from all walks of life including the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Ish’aq Olanrewaju Oloyede, attended the official opening of the ceremony.