EMMANUEL AWARI, Jalingo
The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has destroyed various species of drugs in jalingo.
The Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdullah said the rate of illicit drugs consumption in Taraba State is becoming a source of concern to the public.
“The drugs situation in Taraba State like many other states within the North East is worrisome. This has been validated by the Nigeria Drugs use survey carried out by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, in conjunction with NDLEA which estimated that14 per cent range 213,000 of the population in Taraba State between 15 and 64 years of age have used drugs”.
“Cannabis Sativa popularly known as Wee-wee has remained the most widely abused substance followed by Tramadol and to a lesser extent cough syrups containing codeine”.
He said Taraba State is made more vulnerable by its geographical location, bordering the Republic of Cameron coupled with the activities of hostile elements within the region which are fueled by funds from drug trafficking and drugs used by their foot soldiers.
“Taraba State is also a state with growing population which is regarded as the most vulnerable target group for the pervading drugs problem”.
“Effect of drugs prevention involves the positive engagement of children, youths and adults and their families, schools, workplaces and community, I call on families to brace up to their responsibilities”.
He appreciated the support of the state government in addressing drugs problem in the state, adding that the Gov. Darius Dickson Ishaku has provided funds for the public destruction and other forms of support.
Earlier in his remarks, the State Commander, Peter Odaudu, said the drugs destroyed were about seven tonnes up to 6, 963,755 kilograms of innocent looking but deadly.
He said that the drugs were seized between January 2003 and December 2018, adding that the drugs are made up of 4,413.566 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa popularly known as Wee-wee or Igbo and 2, 550.189 kilograms of Psychotropic substance which include Diazepam, Rhypnol, Cough syrup with codeine and Tramadol which, according to him, a court order for their destruction has been obtained.
He disclosed that the Command also seized a whopping 364 kilograms of Tramadol worth N5 million during an operation and intercepted a vehicle loaded with the drugs in Wukari.
He pointed out that the Command has arrested 279 suspects between January2018 and June, 2019, out of who two are females where 677,376 kilograms of illicit drugs were seized.
He added that within the period, 22 persons were convicted at the Federal High Court, Jalingo, while 16 were rehabilitated.
He appreciated the contribution of the state government in the war against drugs.
He salutes the dynamic leadership of Chairman of NDLEA, Mohammad Mustapha Abdullah in positioning the Agency towards becoming most drug proactive outfit in Africa and the World.
He pointed out that families, schools, NGOs, religious organizations among others have important role to play in ensuring drug free society and generations yet unborn.
In his remarks, Taraba State Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku, represented by his Deputy, Haruna Manu, commended efforts of the Agency for seizing a large quantity of drugs.
He said if the drugs were not seized and destroyed, it could have led to destruction of many youths in the state and urged the Agency to put more efforts.
” Most of the youths restiveness in Jalingo and its environs are caused by effect of drugs, and any slightest provocation, youths would take up arms against each other”
He pointed out that the fight against drugs was a collective responsibility and those parents, religious and community leaders have a great role to play in ensuring drug free society, adding that the state government on its part would continue to support the Agency in fighting the menace.
Our correspondent who monitored the exercise reports that the event was well attended by top government officials, security agencies and the military.
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