Heroin hidden in woollen carpets and footballs as well as other seized and forfeited narcotics were on Thursday November 15, 2012 publicly destroyed by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Badagry, Lagos. The Chairman/Chief Executive of the anti-narcotics Agency, Ahmadu Guiade who supervised the exercise where over 12.6 tons of illicit drugs were destroyed said that any society that fails to destroy drugs will end up being destroyed by drugs. The street value of the drugs is 13.6 billion naira.
The total weight of drugs destroyed in compliance with court order is 12,676.121kg. This includes 12,543.260kg of cannabis, 76.341kg of heroin, 43.770kg of cocaine, 3.600kg of methamphetamine and 9.15kg of amphetamine. “Any society that fails to destroy drugs will end up being destroyed by drugs. Cannabis like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine has serious consequences on health, economy and security of a nation. We shall not take any decision that will ruin the future of our youths who are the leaders of tomorrow” NDLEA chairman stressed.
Giade also stated that medical or recreational reasons are not enough for Nigeria to legalise the use cannabis. In his words, “let it be made clear that Nigeria is not considering legalising cannabis or any other narcotic drugs for recreational use. The future of our youths is greater than any recreational consideration”. The anti-drug boss added that as a nation, there are legitimate ways to recreate. He listed sports, dancing, singing, wrestling, festivals and other legitimate socio-cultural activities as highly recreational.
Though drug barons tried to industrially conceal drugs, still the authorities have successfully detected drugs in many items. The Agency therefore assured that it will continue to counter the activities of drug syndicates until they quit the criminal act. “Every drug seized and destroyed, and every drug trafficker arrested and convicted reassures us that our society can be completely free of drugs. I implore you to support drug control programmes as we intercept more drugs and dismantle drug cartels in the days ahead”.
Consequences of drug trafficking and abuse include untimely death, loss of jobs, broken marriages and pain. The Agency therefore called for a collective action against drug trafficking. “Every Nigerian, male or female, rich or poor, young or old has a right to good health. In addition, they need a safe society to express their potentials and actualise their aspirations. We must take up our responsibilities as adults, parents and opinion leaders. I urge you to inspire the youths into becoming better adults and leaders” Giade urged.
The event was witnessed by stakeholders including royal fathers, heads of military, paramilitary agencies, members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and students.