The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has publicly destroyed narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The destroyed drugs that weighed 7,248.529kg are forfeited drug exhibits seized by both the FCT and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Commands of the Agency. The estimated value of the drugs is N1.9 billion naira.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade who led other dignitaries in setting the drugs ablaze also gave the breakdown of the drugs. According to Giade, “this public burning event is in compliance with the Federal High Court order for the drugs to be burnt in the eyes of the public. Cannabis has the largest share of the drugs with 7,183.5kg, Psychotropic substances was next with 40.9kg, Cocaine 18.254kg, Methamphetamine 4.7kg and Heroin 1.175kg”.
The antinarcotic boss said that the exercise was a victory for the country. “This destruction exercise is a demonstration of the Agency’s capacity to confront drug barons and confiscate the drugs which they so much cherish but which also destroys our youth. It also underscores the worthlessness of dealing in narcotics knowing that the drugs will ultimately go down the drain just as the drugs are being reduced to ashes this day” Giade stated.
FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed represented by his Special Adviser on Security, retired Col. AS Kudu urged all the area council chiefs to support the NDLEA. According to the Minster, “we must all support the Agency in the fight against drugs. I urge traditional rulers and area council chairmen to also lend their logistic and moral support”.
NDLEA Commander, Mr Dennis Obiefule said that the command successfully rehabilitated 68 drug dependent persons. In his words, “the FCT Command between January and October 2013 successfully counseled and rehabilitated 68 drug dependent persons. They have also been re-united with their family members. The command also carried out pubic enlightenment in schools and motor parks with Abuja”.
The Agency in partnership with the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) demonstrated the use of an Air Curtain Burner that destroys drugs in an environmentally friendly manner.
Benue State Most beautiful Girl 2013/2014, Miss Venessa Beetseh who was at the event thanked the Agency for the drug seizures. She promised to work with the Agency since her campaign project is on anti-drug abuse among youths in Nigeria.
The Chairman also promised to rid the FCT of illicit drugs as Cannabis produced in South-South and South- West regions are usually smuggled through it to the northern States. “Several drugs concealed in foodstuff, fruits and electronics as well as fast moving vehicles have been intercepted and lawfully seized. The Agency shall dislodge the hideouts of drug traffickers in the Federal Capital Territory. We shall continue to launch attacks on every location where drugs are produced, sold and abuse in the FCT. We shall not relent” he assured.
In 2012, a total of 1,404.27 hectares of cannabis plantations were discovered and destroyed by the NDLEA. Ekiti State in the South West zone alone destroyed 764 hectares which is about half the total farm land seized in the year. This situation according to Giade demands that farmers only cultivate viable economic crops.
“It has become imperative that we devise a method of making farmers to cultivate only viable economic crops for food and for export. The quantity of cocoa, rubber, yams and cassava that could have been produced from the 1,404.27 hectares of arable land can positively influence our food production efforts as a country”.
The burning was witnessed by both local and international partners. The representatives of the United States Embassy, Du D. Tran, Director International Narcotics and Law Enforcement; Police Attaché Embassy of France, Jean-Pierre Dubus, the Commander Guards Brigade, Brigadier General Emmanuel Ateweh, His Royal Highness, the Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa among other dignitaries.