NDLEA Intercepts 41,180kg Of Drugs In Edo
The Edo State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency [NDLEA] between June last year and May 2018 apprehended two hundred and eighty-seven  suspected drug traffickers with 41,180.422kg of various drugs. This was disclosed in Benin City at the commemoration of the 2018 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking which holds every 26th of June. The theme for the celebration is Listen First – Listening to children and youths is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.
According to the State commander, Buba Wakawa, the persons arrested include 213 males and 74 females. Cannabis has the largest chunk of the seized drugs with 40,040. 05kg, psychotropic substances is next with 1,684.09kg, cocaine is 0.0489kg while heroin is 0.0302kg. The command also successfully discovered and destroyed 57.614 hectares of cannabis farms within the period under review.
This theme which focuses on evidence-based drug abuse prevention was first introduced in 2017 has been rolled over this year in view of the significance of listening to children and youths as an effective investment on the wellbeing of children, youths, families and communities. Buba noted that the event calls for both sober reflections on the devastating effects of drugs and the celebration of the successes recorded thus far in drug control programmes.
Drug threats confronting the State includes cannabis cultivation which is spreading across various forest reserves, drug smuggling across the State which is growing in sophistication, substance abuse among youths which has become a major concern to families and growing drug-induced criminal activities due to the link between drug use and criminality. Expectedly, as drug syndicates are adopting new modes of operation, we have equally developed superior counter strategies in our efforts to address the drug problem.
The Agency said that it has not attained her ultimate goal but the good news is that it is not where drug cartels want it to be. It stressed that the drug seizures call for celebration because of the colossal damage the drugs could have done to our society if they were not intercepted. “We must, therefore, continue to perform a critical reappraisal of the drug situation to build on our strengths and eliminate our weaknesses as we advance in the drug campaign” Buba stated.
As the Agency looks inwards to identify areas that require adjustment in drug control programmes like proper upbringing of children, parents have been urged to listen to children to ascertain what they are going through and guide them on the right path. Children need quality supervision and enlightenment to prevent them from falling victim to peer influence, ignorance, and desire to experiment with drugs among other predisposing factors to substance abuse.
The Agency expressed concern over lateness in seeking for counselling when the conditions of drug users have degenerated. Stakeholders were therefore encouraged to avoid the mistakes made by others. Early signs of substance use like reddish eyes, poor performance in school and work, poor personal hygiene, neglecting responsibilities, isolating behaviour and unexplainable demand for money among others.
A lecture on Substance Abuse Among Youths: Problems and Solutions was presented by Pharmacist Professor Henry Okeri, Head of Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Benin. The event was well attended by students, members of the National Youth Service Corps, Nigerian Airforce, Police, Immigration, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, National Orientation Agency among others.
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