By Eric Ugbor – Aba
The Abia state government has pledged support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to ensure the agency reduce high drug dependence levels by residents of the state.
Mr. Dan Okoli, the Abia Commissioner for Homeland Security disclosed this Monday during a visit to Abia NDLEA office in Aba.
Okoli who said that most violent crimes were committed under drug influence noted that the agency’s operations were at the heart of reducing crimes in Abia hence the need to support them to the fullest.
“You find out what crimes are committed when the perpetrators are under influence; so that is the root of crime and if you attack crime at its root it will be easier to uproot and eradicate.
That is why I am interested in the NDLEA and we are going to do things to the best of our ability to assist NDLEA to reduce drug abuse to the barest minimum in Abia State” he said
The commissioner stated that“Supporting reduction of drug abuse in Abia will make it easier for me, my ministry and other security agencies in the state to curb crime.
So we are going to collaborate with them and synergize with other security agencies to reduce crime in Abia”
“We will also try to monitor them, that is the security agencies that we collaborate with, to reduce compromise because where you put your resources, you also look in there”, he said.
Okoli also promised that his ministry would help the agencies fish out bad eggs among them who frustrate their plans to weed out criminals from Abia stressing that the state will not be the same again.
Reacting to 26 drug suspects arrested from “Milverton York” in Aba, he said he received information detailing the evils going on there and passed the same on to the NDLEA resulting in the timely arrest of the culprits.
He said part of his ministry’s mandate is advocacy stressing they have an advocacy programme intended to sensitize community leaders, transport unions and vigilante groups on security issues.
He also promised to work with security agencies to connect with lawmakers in the state and at federal levels to review the punishment of drug offenders and other criminals in order to deter them from continuing their practice.
Earlier, the Abia Commander, NDLEA, Mr. Bamidele Akingbade
said the Commissioner visited NDLEA to discuss issues that would enhance Abia’s security from drug abuse and trafficking perspective.
He noted that Abia has a high preponderance of hard drugs stressing that NDLEA has been doing its best but called for support to overcome the agency’s handicaps such as lack of vehicles to work with.
Akingbade said the 26 suspects arrested were part of the agency’s Christmas and New Year efforts to ensure no drug dealer is allowed a field day in the state.
He also urged the state to support his agency’s drive to ensure that laws are reviewed and the legal bench are sensitized to ensure adequate punishment of drug dealers no minding the quantity they carry for deterrence.
Vanguard reports that NDLEA confiscated assorted drugs including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, marijuana in hot drinks, packets of tramadol and cocaine hidden in clothing buttons from the suspects.