By Ibironke Ariyo
Abuja. – Retired Col. Muhammad Abdallah, the Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has decried incessant violent attacks on its personnel during their lawful assignments.
Abdallah made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by Mr Jonah Achema, NDLEA Head of Public Affairs.
The NDLEA chief promised to deal ruthlessly with those who engaged in the evil act.
He described the situation as “unfortunate’’, saying that the agency had lost no fewer than 200 of its personnel in the line of duty since inception.
He recalled that an attack was instigated against NDLEA staff in Ondo State leading to loss of lives of four of the officers in February, barely a year after a similar incident in Okene, Kogi State happened where three of its staff were killed by some unknown gunmen.
“Another incident of violent attack took place in Jigawa State where an officer sustained severe machete cuts on the head following a mob attack on the staff in the course of an operation.
“Personnel of the Kazaure Area Command of the agency, Jigawa, went to raid and dismantle a notorious drug joint at Braga Dan Amar in Kazaure.
“The crowd at the joint turned themselves into a murderous squad and attacked the NDLEA team with intent to kill them but for the intervention of the community, the mob vandalised the Area Command’s office.
“In March, Edo State Command of the agency was similarly attacked during an operation to burst Cannabis storage in Okpuje Forest, Owan West Local Government Area.
“The mob insisted on seizing the suspects and exhibits and began to shoot, hail stones and brandish cudgels, injuring officers and damaging operational vehicles,’’ Abdallah said.
The chairman noted that investigations into the incidents are ongoing while expressing confidence that the culprits would be brought to justice.
He, however, urged all stakeholders in drug control chain to foster a more responsive synergy and maintain a stronger foothold in the country’s onslaught against the nefarious drug mer