By Victoria Ojeme
As Nigeria joined the rest of the world yesterday in celebrating this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and the launch of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) 2015-2019, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disclosed that between January and May 2015, the agency arrested 3,478 drug suspects and seized 170, 341.704kg of narcotic drugs.
“The drugs are cannabis: 167,461.826kg; cocaine: 103.848kg; heroin: 17.976kg; and psychotropic substances: 2, 619.195kg. The agency also discovered cannabis farms measuring 126.721 hectares. A total of 783 cases have so far been won in court,” he said.
Giade, who gave the monetary value of seized drugs and cannabis plant destroyed in 2014 as N542 billion, also said that the agency played a very crucial role towards the peaceful conduct of the 2015 general elections. According to Giade, the huge amount is mind blowing and has the capacity to derail the most credible election.
He said such proceeds could be used to either subvert the wishes of the electorate or instigate upheavals. “We shall therefore continue to financially incapacitate and dislodge drug cartels,” he said. The agency’s chairman said that a total of 8,826 suspects, comprising 8,332 males and 494 females were arrested or questioned during investigation while illicit drugs seized weighed 166, 697.18kg in the year under review.
The NDLEA boss stated that a total of 4,529.15 hectares of farmland representing 53,719,342.32 kilogrammes of cannabis were destroyed and prevented from causing untold harm to Nigerians in 2014. He noted that there can be no sustainable development in an atmosphere of drug trafficking and abuse.
“Drugs do not make heroes but drug addicts. Drug trafficking does not make people successful rather it makes them prisoners,” Giade said.