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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said it will not shy away from arresting notable drug barons in the country.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd.), said this in Aba, the economic hub of Abia, on Friday during the public destruction of drug exhibits by the Abia office of the agency.
Abdallah urged Nigerians to assist the agency with useful information on drug dealers in high places to fasttrack appropriate steps, saying that the agency required such information to work. He said the agency embarked on the public destruction of the exhibits “to get them out of reach of the criminals.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 9,110.252 kilograms of drugs, comprising 6,574.116 of cannabis, 10.81 of heroin and 8,932 of cocaine, among others, were destroyed during the exercise.
The NDLEA boss described Abia as one of the most enterprising states in the South-East, hence the need to ensure that the state was not threatened by hard drugs.
“This is due to the fact that manpower is often depleted by drug dependence, while the get-rich-quick syndrome leads productive persons into criminality and illicit drug business,” he said.
Abdallah thanked Abia government for supporting the efforts of the agency and establishing the State Drug Control Committee.
He also appreciated the efforts of Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu’s Vicar Hope Foundation, Mrs Althea Nwele’s Advocacy for Veritas Addiction, Daniel Nwankwo Foundation and Youth Against Substance Abuse in fighting drug dependence.
The NDLEA boss further commended the support of the Directorate of State Security, the Nigerian Army and other sister-security agencies in the state.
Also, the Abia NDLEA Commander, Bamidele Akingbade, said that the public destruction of the drugs was the first of its kind in the state.
According to him, apart from white-collar crimes, all other crimes are connected to hard drug consumption, hence the need for all to fight the scourge.
Akingbade also thanked the state government and non-governmental organisations that had contributed to the anti-drug war and sought for more support.
The state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, represented by Deputy Gov. Oko Chukwu, said the menace of hard drugs had left societies undeveloped through terrorism, armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping, rape, wanton destruction of lives and property and other crimes.
Ikpeazu said that the abuse of drugs had left youths dislocated, rejected and disillusioned in life with unquantifiable damage to society.
He regretted that the concerted efforts to rid the country of the unhealthy phenomenon had yet to yield the desired result.
The governor said that the burning of the drugs showed the agency’s commitment to end the menace and entrench sanity in the state.
He gave assurance that the state would not relent in its support to NDLEA in the fight against drug abuse in order to ensure a hard drug-free society.
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