The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has burnt/set ablaze more than 560, 068.31414 kg of various illicit narcotics, making this destruction the largest ever in it’s 32 years history.
Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, said the exercise is a strong message to drug barons and cartels that they’ll continue to lose their enormous investments in the criminal trade if they don’t back out and look for other legitimate businesses. He was leading other top officials of NDLEA, other security agencies, and members of the public in burning heaps of the illicit drugs in Lagos.
Following is a breakdown of the 560, 068.31414 of illegal narcotics burned during a brief ceremony in Lagos’ Badagary neighborhood: Among the drugs seized by the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) command, the Lagos State Command, the Seme Special Area command, and abandoned seizures were 7, 414.519 kg of cocaine, 161, 206 kg of heroin, 1, 144.8 kg of methamphetamine, 60, 144 kg of ephedrine, 311, 416.19162 kg of cannabis sativa, 10, 091.83 kg of khat, 273. 223 kg of tramadol
At the ceremony, Gen. 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 17,647 drug offenders of which 2,385 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 programmes and policies to counter the destructive impact of the drug scourge, which has pervaded our society in the past few years.”
He promised that the Agency will not only concentrate on reducing drug supply, adding, “we are equally broadening our drug demand reduction efforts, and especially working hard on drug use prevention programmes.
“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 being exposed to drugs at a very young age, particularly in deprived circumstances.
“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 Centre for people who are drug-dependent or suffering from drug use disorder, their families, employers of labour, and members of the public who need any form of help.
“The Centre which has a team of dedicated, well-trained professionals in the mental health practices including psychologists, psychotherapist, psychiatrist and counsellors, currently receives calls in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo languages.”
Gen. Marwa commended the Agency’s officers and men for their dedication, which led to the present arrests, and hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his political will in combating the drug problem.
“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 substance to not relent but intensify support for NDLEA. On our part, we will continue to identify new approaches and expand our scope of operations to ensure that our communities, states and country is safe, healthy, and secure.”
Prior to that, the head of the NDLEA accompanied his top officers on a courtesy visit to the Akran of Badagry, Oba Claudius Dosa Akran, De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi 1, whom he urged to establish a drug control committee in his kingdom as part of efforts to help the nation’s fight against drug misuse.
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