By Ugochukwu Alaribe – Umuahia
The Abia State government has pledged support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to help combat the high use of illicit drugs in the state.
Commissioner for Homeland Security, Abia State, Mr. Dan Okoli, who disclosed this during his visit to Abia NDLEA office, noted that NDLEA’s operations were meant to reduce crimes in Abia hence the need to support the agency.
He expressed hope that the synergy with NDLEA would yield positive results as the state government is committed to ensuring a drug-free state.
In his words, “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.
“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 commended the NDLEA for the arrest of 26 drug suspects at the notorious “Milverton York” in Aba, stressing that he received information detailing the evils going on at the place and passed the same on to the NDLEA which led to the timely arrest of the culprits.
Earlier, the Abia State Commander, NDLEA, Mr. Bamidele Akingbade commended the Commissioner for his visit to discuss issues that would enhance Abia’s security from drug abuse and trafficking.
Akingbade noted that Abia has a high prevalence of hard drugs stressing that NDLEA has been doing its best but called for support to overcome the agency’s challenges such as lack of vehicles to work with.
He explained that 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.
Drugs recovered from the suspects by NDLEA include; heroin, cocaine, marijuana, a mixture of marijuana and hot drinks (Monkey tail), packets of tramadol and cocaine hidden and packaged in cloth buttons.