There is an increase in consumption of cocaine and heroin the Abia State, South East Nigeria.
Abia State, South Eastern Nigeria, is witnessing an increase in consumption of cocaine and heroin, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said on Monday.
Florence Ezeonye, the Agency’s State Commander, said this in Aba and held that the situation is alarming.
She said that the agency seized 1,112 kilogrammes of cocaine, heroin and cannabis from January to December 2012.
She said that cocaine was 683.9 grammes, cannabis 1,110.3 kilogrammes and heroin 1.46 kilogrammes in 2012.
She said the total seizure in 2011 was 2,458 kilogrammes, adding that cocaine was 285 grammes, cannabis 1,498.5 kilogrammes and heroin 475.3 grammes.
Ms. Ezeonye said consumption of heroin and cocaine increased, while cannabis dropped during the year under review.
She said the increase in heroin intake was particularly alarming in 2012 especially when compared to 2011.
She said the number of arrests increased as 230 persons were arrested in 2012, comprising 211 male and 19 female; while in 2011, 160 arrests were made, comprising 19 female and 141 male.
“We are moving forward; at least you can see the increase in the quantity of cocaine and heroin seized in 2012.We seized over a kilogrammes of heroin, which in 2011 was 475.3 grammes.
“I can say that people are leaving the trade of cannabis to that of harder drugs, and even more people are getting it too by number,’’ Ms. Ezeonye said.
She said the agency on February 14, took over the notorious “York” in Aba, known as hard drugs retail market, after a raid on the place.
“It is a bold step to curb the menace in the state. The notorious hard drugs street in Aba has become our newest beat in the state.
“I am saying that the purpose of this operation is to wipe out that particular name called “York”, a retail market for hard drugs.
“York is now our beat which has never happened in the history of Abia NDLEA Command. York is now a beat for our officers, instead of saying York for hard drug dealers, it is York for NDLEA officers,’’ Ezeonye said.
She said the agency is partnering with other sister security agencies, the state government and some concerned citizens who offered to pay for office spaces in York for NDLEA officers to stay there.