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NDLEA destroys 560tons cocaine, cannabis

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By Abraham Adekunle

The NDLEA has destroyed at least 560,000kg of illicit drugs in Lagos.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has, in what could be described as the largest in the 32-year-old history of the anti-narcotic agency, 500,000 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs on August 3rd, 2022. Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brigadier. General Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd), said the exercise is a strong message to drug barons and cartels that they will continue to lose their huge investments in the criminal trade if they fail to quit and look for other legitimate businesses.

The illicit substances burnt at a brief ceremony in the Badagry area of Lagos included approximately 7400kg of cocaine, 161,000kg of heroin, 1100kg of methamphetamines’, 60,000kg of ephedrine, 311,000kg of cannabis sativa, 10,000kg of khat, 273,000kg of tramadol and 8,207kg of other psychotropic substances. These substances were seized by the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Command, Lagos State Command, and the Seme Special Area Command from persons whom have been convicted and sentenced by the Federal High Court as well as from abandoned seizures.

“We have arrested over 17,500 drug offenders since 2021.”

At the ceremony, Marwa said, “It is gratifying to know that our drug law enforcement efforts are not in vain. Our efforts not only resulted in the seizure of the aforementioned drugs but also culminated in the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of the offenders in court. Since January 2021, we have arrested over 17,500 drug offenders of which over 2300 have been convicted in court. In the process, we have seized over 3.5 million kilos of assorted drugs. The business of today is yet another indication that officers and men of NDLEA are not relenting in the pursuit of the Agency’s mandate to make Nigeria safe from the drug scourge.”

“I stand here today before you to give the assurance that NDLEA will continue to explore various ways, legal and within the ambit of orthodox drug law enforcement, to address the drug problem in the country. And there is no better time than now to adopt evidence-based programs and policies to counter the destructive impact of the drug scourge, which has pervaded our society in the past few years.” He assured that the Agency will not only focus on drug supply reduction. He said, “We are equally broadening our drug demand reduction efforts, and especially working hard on drug use prevention programs. Among other measures, we are reaching out to young people through prevention messages on our social media platforms. We are not oblivious of the fact that some teenagers and young adults are exposed to drugs at a very young age, particularly in deprived circumstances.”

Marwa says NDLEA strives to align with international best practices.

He continued, “The agency is working with other institutions to provide educational opportunities, vocational skills training and other socio-economic support for this vulnerable group. In everything we do, we strive to align our efforts with international best practices. Only a few weeks ago, NDLEA launched a 24/7 toll-free call center for people who are drug-dependent or suffering from drug use disorders, their families, employers of labor, and members of the public who need any form of help. The center, which has a team of dedicated, well-trained professionals in mental health practices including psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and counsellors, currently receives calls in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo languages.”

The general commended the officers and members of the agency for their commitment, and also praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his political will in tackling the drug menace. “We equally appreciate the contribution of our local and international partners, who are instrumental to the successes we have recorded. We also thank members of society who are working with us to safeguard the health of our communities. I urge all stakeholders in this campaign against abuse and trafficking of illicit substances to not relent but intensify support for NDLEA.”

Agency will devise new ways to tackle drug menace.

“On our part, we will continue to identify new approaches and expand our scope of operations to ensure that our communities, states and country are safe, healthy, and secure.” The head of NDLEA had earlier alongside his top officials paid a courtesy visit to the Akran of Badagry, Oba De Wheno-Aholu-Menu-Toyi 1, who he implored to set up a drug control committee in his kingdom as part of efforts to support the war against drug abuse in the country.

Related Links

NDLEA: Website


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