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NDLEA seizes 2m kg of hard drugs in 9 months – Marwa

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NDLEA promotes 3,506 officers after 20 years of stagnation –Marwa

 NDLEA seizes 2m kg of hard drugs in 9 months – Marwa

… Says Drug abuse, trafficking in Nigeria under control***

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) seized not less than two million kilogrammes of cocaine, heroin, other hard drugs and substances in the past nine months of 2021.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), told the newsmen in New York that there was no longer a “hiding place for drug traffickers” in Nigeria.

Newsmen report that the NDLEA chief was in New York to address the Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Committee of the UN General Assembly.

Marwa said Nigeria had achieved a lot in the war against drug abuse as NDLEA had moved towards the seizure of assets of persons involved and prosecuting them within the limit of human rights.

He said every kilogramme seized was one kilogramme less on the streets, pointing out that drug abuse in Nigeria had been one of the most worrisome problems in recent times.

“As you know, the prevalence in Nigeria is three times the global average.

“Almost 14.4 per cent of Nigerians within the ages of 15 and 64 will use drugs.

“Not only has this destroyed our youths, it is affecting families, communities, and the society,” he said.

According to him, drug abuse is the key factor that propels crime in Nigeria and the administration of President Muhammad Buhari is tackling the problem.

Also read: NDLEA arrests 110 drug dealers in 9 states

“President has just signed the National Drug Control Master Plan 2021-2025. It was collaborative efforts between UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) funded by the EU.

“Also, War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) was inaugurated on June 26, 2021 and through it NDLEA has been implementing the President’s mandate to fight drug abuse and trafficking in the country.

“We have been very active and offensive-oriented in launching actions across the length and breadth of the country to seize all the pieces of substances whether in home, highways, forests, business premises, factories, everywhere.

“Through the launch of WADA, we are settling structure in every single community in the country to help the WADA committee from the community level to the national level,’’ he added.

Marwa said he chaired the Inter-Ministerial Committee of WADA comprising of 36 Ministries, Departments and Agencies while stakeholders had been stepping up advocacy towards the consumers.

He said NDLEA had been partnering with relevant agencies in its fight against drug abuse, urging parents to rise up to the challenge of sensitising their children against the danger of drug abuse.

“The school system should pay attention and take advantage of the curriculum to teach against the use of drugs; communities are also encouraged. We are also involving the traditional institutions, religious institutions.

“We are engaging the media in advocacy and through our commands, we do counselling; we have counselled over a thousand users.

“We encourage those who need help to come forward to be counselled and be treated as the case may be.’’

Marwa said the agency had been working closely with the Ministry of Health, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and with some foreign partners.

“NDLEA is an intelligent organisaton, we work based on intelligence to get at those criminals into trafficking substances.

“We are in the process of ratcheting our activities against cannabis because cannabis users form the bulk, about 70 per cent of those who use drugs in the country.

“We have in Nigeria alone 10.6.million users of cannabis users, which is by itself the population of some African countries, if you should look at that’’ he said.

Newsmen report that Marwa had earlier told the Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Committee of the UN General Assembly that NDLEA had arrested no fewer than 8,634 suspected drug traffickers from January to August 2021.

He also informed the committee that NDLEA also made seizures of more than 100 billion naira in drugs and cash over the eight-month period.

“Against the backdrop of the strong linkage between illicit drug consumption and insecurity, it is worthy of note that Nigeria made its first seizure of 74.119 kg of Captagon brand of amphetamine.

“The Captagon is presumably destined for use, to fuel insurgency and other violent crimes and criminalities, which Nigeria is currently grappling with,’’ he said.

In the meantime, the problem of drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria is “on its way to being under control”, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, has said.

Marwa told the Correspondent of the newsmen in New York that with the support from the Federal Government, foreign partners and stakeholders, Nigeria would win the war against drug abuse and trafficking.

He described the problem of drugs in Nigeria as “a ravaging epidemic” saying “it is for this reason that we remained upstanding to do our best with what we have and with the support we have been receiving from the Federal Government.

“We plan to go to local governments for sensitisation; we are constrained at this moment with the size of our workforce but with the approval of the President, we have recruited more personnel,” he said.

“We have recruited more personnel to increase our size to enable us go into the local governments so that each local government will eventually have its own special command.

“We also have special command at the sea ports, international airports and we are in the process of setting up engagement in the railway stations.

“I should add that we are collaborating with road transport workers because of this issue of drivers who use drugs to give them capacity, in their thinking, to stay alert to drive for longer hours.

“We believe that with the support we are getting from the Presidency, the matter of drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria is on its way to being under control.’’

Marwa said the UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) had been supporting Nigeria in its fight against drug abuse, especially in training of its staff and providing information materials.

He said the federal government had produced the improved fourth edition of the National Drug Control Master Plan 2021-2025 with the technical support from the UNODC and EU funding.

This document comprehensively addresses four thematic Pillars of Supply Reduction, Demand Reduction, Access to controlled Medicines for Medical purposes, and Coordination and Governance.

Speaking on if cannabis could be cultivated for commercial purpose to boost the economy of the country, the NDLEA boss said the agency is against the legalisation of cannabis, noting that “we don’t want to encourage it”.

Marwa warned that it would be difficult to control the use of cannabis in the country, citing the example of Tramadol, which is a medication under prescription, provided it is 100mg and below but has been abused.

“We (Nigeria) have not been able control it (Tramadol) because they are still bringing it in excess of 100gm and all forms; we are trying to control it and now, you want to add another thing.

“We don’t have the mechanics to control it (cannabis); it is very dangerous for us to step in there (legalise cannabis). We should be trying to find ways to reduce it.

“The argument has been if it is for commercial purpose. We have to find out if it is human lives we are interested in or money.

“If we do such, we will end up spending the money realised to build rehabilitation centres for these people (users). It is a worthless effort; that is the view of NDLEA at this moment.’’

In addition, Marwa said the practice globally was not to criminalise the use of drugs, but in Nigeria it is an offence and NDLEA Act has the penalties for it.

The NDLEA chief said in more specific terms that the penalties were different for those who use and traffickers, adding, heavy penalties are for the traffickers.

“I must say that the use of drugs is an illness, especially when it gets to addiction. They (addicts) can’t help themselves, they need to be helped.

“The efforts will not be towards criminalising or penalising them but to help them to be treated, so we encourage those under drugs to seek treatment.

“Twenty per cent of the drug users in Nigeria have drug use disorder. They need help and we encourage that,’’ he said.

 

Health and Safety

Military Destroys 39 Illegal Refineries, Apprehends Oil Thieves; Niger Lifts Curfew on Lambata

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Military Destroys 39 Illegal Refineries, Apprehends Oil Thieves; Niger Lifts Curfew on Lambata

 Defence Headquarters says the troops of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, have in the last two weeks destroyed 39 illegal oil refining sites in the South-South zone.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami made this known at a bi-weekly news briefing on military operations on Thursday, in Abuja.

Danmadami said the troops in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip and other operations destroyed 48 cooking ovens, 103 storage tanks, 27 dugout pits and 33 wooden boats during the period.

He said the troops also recovered one tug boat, a barge, 3 pumping machines, three speedboats and 13 vehicles.

According to him, troops recovered 274,000 litres of crude oil, 71,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, and 15 Ak47 rifles, while 40 suspected economic saboteurs were arrested.

“All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action,” he said.

“Equally, the air component of Operation Delta Safe conducted air interdiction to several illegal refining sites and creeks at Gogokiri Degema and Okrika Local Government Areas both in Rivers State between Jan. 12 and Jan. 24.

“Crew observed the sites to be active makeshift tents sighted as well as illegal refining activities been carried out.

“Targets were engaged with weapons and the locations were observed to have exploded in an inferno while the illegal refining equipment were also destroyed,” he said.

In South East, defence spokesman said the military and other security agencies had sustained the offensive against the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals in the zone.

He said the troops had neutralised six terrorists, arrested 24 and rescued 16 abducted civilians.

According to him, several calibres of arms and ammunition including AK47 rifles, pump action rifles, IEDs and locally made explosive pipes among other items were also recovered.

In another development, Gov.  Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has directed the lifting of the curfew on Lambata town in Gurara Local Government Area of the state.

The directive is contained in a statement by the Secretary to the state Government, Mr Ahmed Matane in Minna on Thursday.

The governor had on Jan. 15 imposed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. as a result of a violent clash that led to the killing of the village head of Lambata, Alhaji Muhammed Abdulsafur.

Matane explained that the lifting of the curfew would begin on Jan. 26.

He said that the curfew was lifted having reviewed the security situation and return of peace in Lambata town and environs.

He said that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ogundele Ayodeji had visited Lambata town and commenced investigation into the matter that led to the killing of the village head, stressing that arrests had also been made in connection with the violent clash.

Matane, however, urged the people of Lambata and the public to always be law-abiding and to remain peaceful with one another regardless of social, political or religious affiliations.

According to him, security agencies have been directed to ensure the safety of lives and property of the people of the area.

Matane noted that the governor thanked the residents of Lambata town for their understanding in complying with the curfew.

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Dental Therapist advises regular use of toothpastes against dental diseases

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Dental Therapist advices regular use of toothpastes against dental diseases

A Dental Therapist, Maria Onu, says regular use of toothpastes can prevent dental diseases as toothpaste contain some active ingredients created specifically for such purpose.

She said this on Thursday in an interview in Abuja.

According to Onu, toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used with a toothbrush to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of the teeth and is generally useful to maintain dental health.

She said, “It is an abrasive used to promote oral hygiene and aids in removing dental plaque or its build-up and food from the teeth while also promoting healthy gums.

“It assists in suppressing halitosis and delivers active ingredients such as fluoride to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

“Toothpastes containing fluoride are effective at preventing tooth decay and it’s a very necessary ingredient for toothpastes.

“Toothpaste are made up of 20 to 40 percent of water, abrasives including aluminum hydroxide, calcium hydrogen phosphates, calcium carbonate, silica, and hydroxyapatite.”

She said that a good toothpaste should contain 1450 (parts per million) ppm of fluoride, mainly in the form of sodium fluoride, detergents and sodium lauryl sulfate with concentration ranges of 0.5 to two percent.

Onu said that toothpastes should also contain antibacterial agents such as triclosan or zinc chloride, flavourants including spearmint, peppermint, and wintergreen.

“Anti-sensitivity agents in sensitive toothpastes containing strontium chloride and potassium nitrate or arginine and anti-calculus agents such as sodium polyphosphate or zinc citrate.”

She said that proper oral hygiene would protect the teeth and gums and keep one’s smile beautiful.

She added that brushing the teeth using fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush at least twice a day was a good practice.

“A soft-bristled one for children and a medium toothbrush for adults as hard bristles can damage the gums and tooth enamel.

“When you brush, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward your gums. This helps sweep away plaque and bacteria at the gum line.

“Also, be sure to brush all teeth surfaces, including the backs and sides,” Onu said. 

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Health and Safety

Troops Rescue 16 Persons, kill 3 Bandits in Kaduna

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Troops Rescue 16 Persons, kill 3 Bandits in Kaduna

 Troops of Operation Forest Sanity have rescued 16 persons from Bandits’playground, Kaduna State, in an operation spanning Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road and a location in Igabi Local Government Area.

The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the development in a statement on Tuesday in Kaduna.

Aruwan also confirmed that three suspected bandits have been neutralised and three firearms, one explosive and 11 motorcycles recovered.

“According to operational feedback, the troops responded to a distress call along the Udawa-Manini axis of the Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road.

“The troops arrived to foil the attack, rescuing 15 persons in the process.

“Some of the rescued persons who sustained injuries were rushed to hospital for treatment.

“Similarly, troops of Operation Forest Sanity responded to a distress call from Gonan Doctor village, Igabi LGA, and laid ambush at a likely crossing point in Maraban Huda village.

“Contact was made with the bandits, and following a firefight, one bandit was neutralised,” he said.

He said a kidnapped victim was rescued, though injured by the bandits, and was rushed to the Jaji Cantonment Hospital for treatment, one motorcycle was recovered.

Aruwan further disclosed that in response to credible intelligence of bandits’ movement around an interstate boundary area, troops of Operation Forest Sanity set up ambush positions around Mangoro general area around Chikun-Birnin Gwari LGA, on the boundary with Shiroro LGA of neighbouring Niger State.

“The troops engaged the approaching bandits and neutralised two.

“The troops also recovered one AK47 rifle, one pump action gun, one Improvised Explosive Device, one Baofeng Radio, and 10 motorcycles,” he said.

The commissioner said Gov. Nasir El-Rufai received the reports with gratitude and expressed satisfaction at the breakthroughs recorded by the security forces.

“The Governor commended the troops for the successful rescues, and prayed for the quick recovery of injured victims,” Aruwan said.

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