By Festus Ahon
ASABA- NIGERIA Drug Law and Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Tuesday destroyed over 90, 000 kilograms of illicit drugs made up of mainly cannabis sativa at Ogwash-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area, Delta State as part of steps to check the scourge.
Speaking during the public destruction, Chairman of the NDLEA, retired Colonel Muhammad Abdallah, expressed regret that the cultivation and production of drugs has been on the increase despite government’s concerted effort to check it.
Abdallah held that since the destruction of over 54 kilograms of drugs in the state in 2012, drug seizure till date has increased tremendously, adding that the biggest clandestine laboratory for the manufacturing of methamphetamine, which posed serious danger to humans and the environment, was discovered in Asaba in 2016.
According to him, the Agency was currently prosecuting four Mexicans and four Nigerians collaborators at the Federal High Court Asaba in connection with the rediscovery and urged members of the public to join in the fight against illicit drugs.
The State Commander of the NDLEA, Mr Obiefulu Chidi, said the command was focused and committed to stopping drug dealers, describing illicit drug dealers as merchants of death.
While soliciting public support in the fight against the crime, he regretted that the dealers were driven mainly by profit motives as against the consequences of their actions on the society.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who was represented at the public destruction by the state commissioner for Youth Development, Mr Oghenekaro Ilolo, advocated strict enforcement of drug-related laws to check the rising cases of drug abuse in the country.
He noted that drug addiction among youths had assumed an alarming dimension, describing the situation as retrogressive to society. He commended the State Command of the NDLEA for effectively fighting against drug abuse in the state, which according to him led to the seizure of the large number of drugs destroyed.
Okowa, however, called on the NDLEA to step up its sensitisation drive to adequately educate the people on the dangers of drug abuse, stressing that the communities should be actively involved if the campaign must yield the desired result.
The Governor pledged the continued support of the state government for Agency in order to get rid of illicit drugs in the state.
The highlight of the occasion was the setting of the large heap of drugs on fire by the Governor and some of the dignitaries present.