NDLEA Nabs 149 suspects, seizes 1.49 tons of illicit drugs in Kogi in 6 months..

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By Thompson Yamput.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 149 suspects with over 1.49 tonnes of illicit drugs between Jan. 1 and June 24 in Kogi.

The Kogi NDLEA Commander, Umar Yahuza, made the disclosure on Monday, in Lokoja at a news conference heralding a week long United Nations Day against drug Abuse and trafficking in the state.

Yahuza, who said that programme was organised by the agency in collaboration with Kogi Government, said 29 out of the 149 suspects arrested had been convicted, while cases against others were still pending at Federal High Court, Lokoja.

“The drug menace in Kogi and Nigeria is so disturbing and demands urgent action to arrest it before it destroys our youths and future leaders.

“This is because the ugly situation has serious implications on security, economics and the general wellbeing of the citizens.

“We have made a series of arrests and seizures of assorted drugs such as codeine, Methamphetamine, Diazepam, tramadol, Cannabis sativa, Pentazocine among others.

“In fact, statistics and empirical facts from the agency’s operations indicated clearly that the drug problem is mutating into a colossal social problem.

“It has become an issue linked beyond doubt to the escalation of insecurity and its attendant effects on peace and economy across the country, ” he said.

The commander attributed the effects of armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry, rape and other violent crimes against humanity in the country to the use of illicit drugs.

He said that illicit drugs were mostly the catalyst for these vices, adding “anywhere there is drug,
there is crime and vice versa.”

According to him, Kogi, being a microcosm of Nigeria, and a federating unit, cannot stand alone in the face of this ominous threat of drug abuse and trafficking.

Yahuza further said that from Jan. 1 to date, the command had engaged in various operations, sensitisation, courtesy/advocacy visits in an effort to curtail the menace.

He, however, called on government, corporate organisations and spirited individuals to collaborate with NDLEA to eradicate the menace of drugs in the society.

The commander commended Gov. Usman Ododo’s administration for the enormous support offered to the agency in its discharge of duties in the state.

Also speaking, the commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Monday Anyebe, commended NDLEA for its resilience in the fight against illicit drugs within the Kogi and the country at large.

The commissioner said that Ododo had genuine interest in the wellbeing of Kogi youths and desired that the youth and the entire populace to be sensitised on the harmful effects of this killer habit, believed to be primarily practiced by the younger generations.

“It’s evidently clear that investing in prevention is the most effective way to address drug abuse and addictions in society .

“By investing in preventive measures, we can empower the younger generations with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to make informed decisions about their health and well-being as well as the growth and development of the country, ” he said. (NAN).

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