… Attributes high rate of drug abuse to poverty, joblessness***
NDLEA seized 1.2 tonnes of tramadol tablets and 396kg of codeine syrup and in Kaduna State on Monday and Tuesday.
Its spokesman in the Kaduna Command, Superintendent of Narcotics, Mr Maijama’a Abdullahi told a news conference in Kaduna on Wednesday that the tramadol tablets were seized in the Zaria Local Government Area of the state.
There were about 2.3 million tablets in the haul made on Monday, he said.
Abdullahi said operatives of the NDLEA also arrested one suspect in relation to a tramadol haul at a poultry farm and the farm was consequently sealed.
He added that on Tuesday, operatives on motorised patrol stopped and searched a Toyota bus with registration number RBC 752 XE where they found 15 sacks of codeine syrup.
The sacks of codeine were concealed under cartons of beer and malt drinks, he said.
The driver told the operatives that the consignment of drugs was loaded at Onitsha Market in Anambra for delivery in Kaduna.
“The 2,919 bottles of codeine syrup weighing 396 kg, have street value of N10.5 million,’’ Abdullahi said.
He added that investigation was on-going to establish the would-be recipient of the codeine in Kaduna.
Abdullahi also told newsmen that 73 suspects, including a female were arrested so far in the state in April while in possession of illicit drugs.
In the same vein, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has attributed the high rate of drug abuse in the country, especially among the youth to poverty and joblessness.
NDLEA Chairman, retired Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Marwa said this on Wednesday at the 2022 first-quarter performance assessment award of excellence in Abuja.
According to him, there is the need for intensified sensitisation and advocacy at all levels to stem the use of illicit drugs.
He said that many youths were on drugs, hence the need to establish more rehab centres.
“Most NDLEA commands have rehab facilities, however, plans are ongoing to build three more centres as captured in this year’s budget of the agency.
“The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister has proposed, and we accepted to collaborate in building a rehab centre in the Territory,” he said.
He appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for the initiative to provide jobs for the youth, adding that it would go a long way in reducing drug abuse.
Marwa also advocated drug tests for aspiring political office holders to be certain that elected officers were not using illicit drugs.
He said that this was important as the drug status of a politician affects his political responsibilities.
“We plan to include it in the screening of those running for elective positions in the 2023 elections.
The chairman also said that NDLEA had arrested 3,539 drug offenders and convicted 677 from between January and March.
He said that although the country was yet to be drug-free, the high number of arrests was an indication that the agency was on the right track to sanitising the society.
He also sympathised with families and colleagues of officers who were killed in the line of duty.
The newsmen report that the NDLEA chairman commended and rewarded some personnel as well as states’ Commands for their outstanding performances.
Lagos Command was recognised for being most outstanding in drug supply reduction, Niger and Edo Commands for outstanding in drug demand reduction.
FCT Command was rewarded for being diligent in the prosecution of drug offenders, and highest number of convictions, while personnel of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos Command were recognised for drug supply reduction.
The chairman also presented to the recipients N20, 000 each and N200, 000 each to the outstanding states’ Commands as well as letters of commendation.
Marwa said that the awards and letters of commendation were to recognise, reward hard work, and excellence as well as to stimulate productivity and enshrine meritocracy in the system.