The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) officials have warned Nyamira youth against abuse of drugs and alcoholic substances during the electioneering period for they are susceptible to be misused by politicians to cause elections related violence.
NACADA CEO Victor Okioma while addressing Nyamira youth during a youth forum on peaceful elections which are free from Alcohol and drugs abuse in Uhuru gardens observed that drug addicted youths are misused by rogue politicians to cause unwarranted election related violence.
“You should be at the forefront to be peace ambassadors in promoting peaceful co- existence amongst all people irrespective of their region, tribe, clan or political affiliation. Politicians take advantage of your addiction to drugs and alcoholic substances to intoxicate you then incite you to cause violence which we are warning against,” the CEO said.
“NACADA further supports youth sports, connect market and job links to reformed youths and encourage youths to form groups and start-up businesses which will engage them and provide a source of income and avoid being lured by politicians to entice them with free liquor to later misuse them in causing violence and unnecessary disturbance to innocent Kenyans.” Mr. Okioma explained.
According to NACADA director Yvon Alando, addiction to drugs and alcoholic substances compel such people who are mostly youths to look for all means possible to buy the drugs and when there is one who could buy them drugs for free, then he would be the same person to dictate to them what they will do especially causing violence even if it is criminal.
“We have partnered with the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of the National Government to map out areas where many youth are engaged in drug abuse and are likely to experience post-election violence which include; Kisumu, Eldoret, Nyamira, Kericho, Central Kenya and the Coastal region. We are going round the regions to sensitize youths in these areas to shun alcohol and drug abuse for peaceful elections,” Ms. Alando said.
Nyamira County Commissioner Michael Lesmam assured youths that the security department is adequately prepared to provide maximum security throughout the entire time of the electioneering period and anyone caught causing chaos or disturbance of any nature will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
He further stated that his department would not relent in fighting illicit brew and warned that they will arrest anyone caught brewing, selling, transporting or becoming disorderly after being drunk with the illicit liquor all in ensuring that people live in peace, safe orderly environment.
The chairman of Nyamira youth Parliament, Stephen Onyancha listed some of the key factors contributing to violence during the electioneering period to include; leadership wrangles, clannism, greed for power and poverty and advised fellow youths against being lured by politicians cheaply to cause mayhem during the electioneering period. He further urged them to ensure they vote leaders into power who will pursue the development agenda of our county and country.
Some sections of Kenyans have started experiencing pocket of violence where youths are intoxicated with drugs then instructed to cause disturbance and unnecessary violence scenario which has made NACA organize youth forums to sensitize them on the importance of keeping and maintaining peace during the electioneering period when the country shall vote new leaders into office on August 9th.
By Deborah Bochere and Tabitha Mwendwa