By Isaac Ukpoju
Lafia – The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday in Lafia destroyed 11,669 kilogrammes of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances worth about N1.65 billion.
According to Justice Arinze, Commander of NDLEA in Nasarawa State, the exhibits were seized from dealers in the state.
He said that the public destruction of recovered drug exhibits was part of the agency’s strategy to permanently take drugs out of circulation.
Arinze gave the breakdown of the exhibits to include 8,632.82 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa and 3,0636 kilograms of psychotropic substances such as Tramadol, Codeine and Rophynol.
He said that dealers from whom the exhibits were seized had already been prosecuted before the Federal High Court in Lafia.
Arinze said that the destruction of the drugs was significant in view of their negative consequences on society which included mental disorder, violent crimes, kidnapping and other social vices.
He assured members of the public of NDLEA’s commitment to riding Nasarawa of criminal drug syndicates seeking to make the state a hub for illicit drug cultivation, trafficking and consumption.
He appreciated Gov Abdullahi Sule for understating the imperative of collective responsibility in the drug fight by including the NDLEA in the state’s security council.
He noted that the lofty passion of the governor to industrialise the state would be in vain if the youth, as drivers of the transformation, were wasted by drugs.
He, therefore, appealed for more support in terms of logistics, provision of rehabilitation centre as well as establishment of state drug control committee, amongst others.
In his remark, Chairman of NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdullah (rtd), said that the destruction of the drugs was to safeguard public health and safety.
Abdullah, represented by Suleiman Ningi, the Director, Technical Services of NDLEA, said that Nasarawa was vulnerable to drug shipment given its strategic location and proximity to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said that available record indicated high drug use in North-Central resulting in very disturbing health-related problems among the youth.
He thanked the Nasarawa state government for the support in the fight against illicit drugs.
Gov. Sule, represented by his Deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, promised to sustain the support to the fight against illicit drugs in the state.
He said that his administration would facilitate the building and establishment of a rehabilitation centre at the headquarters of NDLEA in Lafia.