The Akwa Ibom State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Akwa Ibom State Command, has destroyed 2.768 tonnes of illicit drugs estimated at over N2bn in the state.
The state government in turn commended the anti-narcotic agency and vowed to support its efforts towards the attainment of zero case profile in drug-related offences in the state and Nigeria at large.
This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Ekikere Umoh, after the agency’s chairman, Brig. General Mohammed Marwa, (retd), paid a courtesy visit to the deputy governor, Moses Ekpo, at Government House, Uyo.
Marwa who was represented by the agency’s Secretary, Barr. Shedrach Haruna, listed the destroyed drugs to include cannabis sativa, cocaine, heroin and other psychotropic substances.
He said the drugs were seized between 2014 and September 2021, adding that the destruction was in line with the agency’s Act which mandates it to take measures for the destruction of seized narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
While reassuring that the agency will not rest on its oars to rid the country of the menace of hard drugs, the chairman stated that NDLEA is not only” involved in arrest and prosecution of drug offenders, but also tackling the scourge through aggressive drug awareness and sensitization programmes for vulnerable youths and other groups”.
He disclosed that the agency recently launched a 24/7 toll-free call centre for members of the public who may need help on drug-related matters.
The chairman who appreciated the federal and state governments and other partners for their support in the fight against illicit drugs, requested for land from the state government for the construction of a staff barracks for the command as well as the establishment of Drug-free Clubs in schools in order to curb the menace.
Responding, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo while acknowledging the positive report- card of the Agency, commended Buba Marwa, noting that his appointment has positively altered the performance narrative of the agency nationwide.
He said the efforts of the NDLEA has resulted in the upsurge of drug seizures, arrest and convictions at critical drug corridors across the country, adding that the Akwa Ibom command made a recent arrest and seizure of 90 kilograms of substance suspected to be Amphetamine, and other seizures.
“This has obviously rubbed off on the Akwa Ibom State office, with the result that we have been able to more effectively contain the challenges of drug abuse and illicit trafficking”, he stated.
The Deputy Governor urged the Federal government to further empower the NDLEA with more funding to enable them to not only give support to state offices, but procure needed work tools for a revolution in the fight against unhealthy drug use.
“I call on Nigerians to team up with the government in the war against drug use and illicit trafficking. The negative implications of drug abuse are far-reaching, including adverse effects on the health of our people, avoidable road accidents and drug-related criminality”, Ekpo appealed.
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