The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), FCT Command, says it seized 3,546.632 kilograms of hard drugs from January to July.
The NDLEA, FCT Commander, Lawan Hamisu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that the drugs seized comprised Cannabis sativa, Cocaine, Tramadol, Exol, Rophynol and Diazepam in a coordinated operation across the Territory.
He said that the operatives of the command within the period also arrested 205 suspects comprising 180 males and 25 females.
He recalled that April and June was the period of the lockdown due to COVID-19 as that clearly slowed down the level of operations in the FCT.
He, however, noted that the agency had been working as much as possible to operate within the safety protocol as directed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“This is actually what accounts for the number to be this slightly low but it is still a worrisome development,’’ he said.
Mr Hamisu said that the operatives of the command seized 3,295.193kg of cannabis sativa, adding that the quantity alone was over three tonnes.
“0.061kg of cocaine, 0.842kg of Rophynol, 4.975kg of Diazepam, 2.46kg of Exol and 242.267kg of Tramadol were seized making the total of 3,546.632kg.
“Within the corridors of FCT, if this (had) been allowed to be in circulation, what (would) have been the catastrophe that it would have resulted.
“In the same vein, we have issues of cocaine, which is very much pronounced as the most notorious drugs, which I must confess is becoming a very saddening event to most families.
“One thing I will like to draw our attention to, including our sister agencies, like NAFDAC for instance, is the increasing abuse of illicit drugs.
“Drugs that ordinarily (are supposed) to be medicinal, but now they are being abused. Cough syrup, for instance, is becoming increasingly abused not only in FCT but in other parts of the country.
“This is a very serious issue for NDLEA as we are very much (concerned). And we have been drawing and will continue to draw the attention of relevant authorities to this,’’ he said.
Mr Hamisu said that total convictions from January to July were 75, adding that June had the highest conviction of 37 out of the 75.
According to him, we referred about 80 out of the number arrested for counselling, while 10 persons walked themselves to the office to submit themselves to the agency.
“These 10 really wanted an intervention and we are glad to say that some are with us for three months and six months respectively. They have been discharged because they are working class and they have to return back to their work.
“At the moment, we are on the follow up and aftercare monitoring and services. I will say that is how far we have gone with the rehabilitation process in FCT,’’ he said.
Mr Hamisu said that the number of females arrested within the seven months could be considered small but it was disturbing, adding that the frightening thing lately was the demography of drug abuse and trafficking.
According to him, the demography changes shape because you have the involvement of students, commercial sex workers, and you equally have even housewives.
The NDLEA commander said that the agency would continue to carry out its duties in line with global best practices to ensure that the territory was free of drug related issues.
He advised parents to pay closer attention to their wards and children to see what they were doing at home, who their close friends are especially now that they are at home.
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