By Rotimi Ojomoyela – Ado-Ekiti
The National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency,(NDLEA), Ekiti Command on Friday disclosed it has arrested about 109 suspects, who deal in illicit drugs business in the state.
NDLEA Commander in the State, Mr. Gaura Shedow who made the revelation added that about 1,399.7 Kilogrammes of illicit drugs were recovered from the 89 males and 20 females suspects arrested.
Shedow said this while briefing newsmen on Friday in Ado-Ekiti during the commemoration of the 2020 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking.
The annual event which is usually celebrated on June 26 was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly.
According to him, the 2020 celebration, which was the theme: “Better Knowledge for Better Care” Hashtag:#Facts for Solidarity, was meant to address the drug challenge which has been ‘plagued’ by the misinformation of many kinds.
“May I use this opportunity to give you an annual report of the command’s activities from July 2019 to June 2020. Within the period under review, the command was involved in a series of operational activities, raid and dislodging of black-spotted areas.
” The Command destroyed about 10 Cannabis Sativa Plantations within the state. The plantations measuring about 59.5 hectares of farmland were destroyed with fresh Cannabis Sativa weighing about 81.04 kg, excluding the 59 nursery beds.
“Area of destruction were Aba Igbira Forest in Iworoko-Ekiti, Ijesha Isu-Ikole-Ekiti, Ara-Ekiti, Otunja-Ekiti, and Odo-Oro-Ikole-Ekiti,” Shedow said.
He continued, “Within the period under review, the command arrested a total of 109 suspects comprising 89 males and 20 females with the recovery of 1,399.655 Kg of illicit substances.
“Cannabis Sativa 1,398.649 kg, Psychotropic substances 703.162 Grammes, Cocaine/Heroine 4Grammes. We secured a total of 12 convictions at the Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, (10 males and 2 females).
According to him, the command in the area of drug reduction activities counselled 106 clients and carried out 46 outings on public enlightenment campaigns to schools, market women, youths, communities, churches, and Mosques.
He urged Ekiti people to shun abuse of illicit substances, saying drug dependent persons are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 during this pandemic.
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“In view of the prevailing atmosphere of COVID-19 pandemic, drug-dependent persons are at risk of contracting the virus, because they are usually attending underlying health issues, stigmatization, and dire access to health care.
“Since their choice drugs are in short supply, they may tend to experiment with a new conception which aggravates their health challenges,” Shedow added.
He, however, thanked the Chairman/CEO of NDLEA, Col., Muhammad Abdullah(Rtd), Ekiti Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and other stakeholders for their efforts at supporting the fight against illicit drugs in Nigeria and Ekiti in particular.