No fewer than 101 suspected drug traffickers have been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Imo State command alone in 2021.
Nse Jack, the state NDLEA Commander, made the disclosure at a media briefing in Owerri, capital of Imo State.
He explained that the command had arrested about one hundred and ten suspects with drugs, seizing about seven hundred kilograms of Cannabis Sativa (Igbo), Cocaine, Heroin, Tramadol, Metaphitamin (aka Mkpurummiri), Rophinol, Exol, Vadum, among others.
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He expressed regrets that many youths of the State were involved in various stages of drug abuse, adding that the high number of hotels in the State served as a convergent point for the drug takers.
He urged the hoteliers to put measures in place to prevent the use of their premises for illicit drug businesses because failure to do that will make them culpable.
According to the commandant, the last time the UNO conducted research on drug abuse in Nigeria in 2018, Imo State had the highest prevalence among states in the South East.
Speaking on the action taken against those arrested with drugs, the commandant said, “They are charged to court and when the court is through with them, most times the court send them to jail and at this point, we apply to the court for permission to destroy the drugs publicly by burning, because we don’t allow them to get back to the society.
“The agency’s task is divided into two principal functions; The drug supply reduction site which has to do with; arrests, seizures, prosecution and confiscation, while the second one is the drug demand reduction site which is all about public enlightenment/ sensitization, drug education, seminars, among others.”
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He added that “the agency in Imo State is planning a lot of enlightenment campaign do discourage people from drug abuse during the ember month, as according to him, the issue of drug abuse has become a very serious problem in Nigeria that if nothing serious was done about it, has the potential of ruining the country.
“The law against drug abuse does not exempt anybody, as anyone caught engaging in illicit drug business will be prosecuted, no matter how highly placed.”
Photo Credit: Getty