The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Wednesday May 9, 2012 destroyed over 14,000 kilogrames of narcotic drugs seized by the Ogun State Command at Abeokuta. The drugs consist of 14,022.827kg of cannabis, 557 pinches of cocaine, 101 pinches of heroin and 50 pinches of amphetamines.
According to the Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Ahmadu Giade, the destruction of drug exhibits is in furtherance of the Agency’s desire to create the needed conducive environment which guarantees the safety of lives and property. “The safety of our country tomorrow depends on our counter-narcotic measures today. We are working on strategies to arrest the development and prevent the situation from degenerating” Giade stated.
Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun thanked officers of the Agency for the seizures. An operational vehicle was also donated to the State Command of the NDLEA by Amosun who charged them to work harder in eradicating illicit drugs from the State.
The governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa said “it is when there are no drugs that the State government can achieve its developmental goals. We are going to support the NDLEA in the drug war. If these large quantities of drugs were seized in just three years, it means there is more work to be done”.
Giade added that “the threat of drug abuse is now creeping into our society. This is evident from the large seizures of pinches made in the State. Drugs packed in pinches suggest use because it is prepared for consumption. The astronomical increase in seized drugs is yet another strong indication of the increasing drug problem.”
The Ogun State Commander of the NDLEA, Mohammed Mohammed also described the drug situation as alarming. In his words, “even primary school compounds and pupils are used to peddle drugs in the State. This unfortunate development should not be allowed to degenerate because the youths are the leaders of tomorrow”.
Mohammed stated that the Ogun State Command in the last four months arrested 53 suspected drug traffickers and seized over one thousand kilogrammes of drugs. Three accused persons were convicted while 73 hectares of cannabis farm plantations were successfully destroyed since January 2012.
According to the NDLEA Act, exhibit destruction is the last event in the Agency’s drug control chain. The Agency stated that similar public destruction events are expected to take place across the nation. It therefore urged members of the public to be actively engaged in the anti-drug abuse and trafficking campaign.
“I urge parents to know the friends of their children. Drug abuse can be prevented or minimised by choosing the right friends and associates. A bad situation can also be averted when drug use is detected at the early stage. This calls for vigilance and effective monitoring. Therefore, parents, guardians, teachers and leaders at all levels must be actively engaged in the drug war” the NDLEA boss stated.
The Agency also vowed to take away the illicit profit from the drug trade. “We are making efforts to remove the huge profit from drug trafficking by denying barons and traffickers the expected proceeds. This is being done through strict enforcement of anti-money laundering laws. While the NDLEA is making some inroads, I wish to task our partners in drug control in the financial institutions to do more. Banks must know their customers as stipulated by the law. The principle of know-your-customer is to enhance proper record-keeping as well as reporting of suspicious transactions. Any institution that is found wanting shall be severely sanctioned”.
Giade thanked the Governor for the vehicle and other logistic support pledged by the State government. According to the NDLEA boss, “I am grateful for the operational vehicle donated to the Command. Let me assure you that it will be judiciously used in advancing the frontiers of the drug war”.