By Chidi Nkwopara
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested no fewer than 2,883 persons for hard drug trafficking between January and May this year.
NDLEAâ€™s Head of Public Affairs, Mr Ofoyeju Mitchel, who disclosed this in Lagos, yesterday, also said the agency seized 77,796.12kg of narcotic drugs during the period.
According to Ofoyeju Mitchel, the suspects arrested so far comprise 2,780 males and 103 females.
Giving a breakdown of the statistics of drugs seized, Mitchel said 77,267.04kg of the drugs were cannabis; psychotropic substances, 419.59kg; cocaine, 82.281kg and heroin, 27.21kg.
He said also that no fewer that 674 offenders were convicted for drug trafficking during the period under review.
Reacting to the figures, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, said the agency would continue to collaborate with stakeholders in the war against narcotics.
The partnership, he noted, was a deliberate strategy aimed at galvanising support for drug control programmes across different interest groups, individuals and organisations.
According to him, â€œdrug problem is an equal opportunity affliction which affects people in all types of jobs and ages, all classes of the society as well as all nations. Everybody must therefore be actively engaged in control effortsâ€.
The NDLEA boss saidÂ the country could not afford to lose its future leaders to drug abuse, adding that the campaign against the phenomenon was targeted at the youths that are more vulnerable to drug abuse and other related social vices.
He disclosed that most of the persons arrested and convicted by the agency over drug related crimes were youths.
â€œEven in the area of drug abuse, younger people tend to yield to peer pressure and in the process experiment with drugs,â€ Giade said.
He urged members of the public to actively participate in the campaign and save the youths from drug abuse and trafficking.