By Peter Duru
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd.) has disclosed that findings indicated that insurgents in the North East were getting funding from illicit drug sales to carry out their dastardly acts.
Col. Abdullah hinted that aside being the source of funding the crisis was also being fueled by drug addiction.
The chairman who disclosed this on Thursday in Makurdi during the public destruction of hard drug exhibits seized by the Benue State Command of NDLEA said the government was doing everything to apprehend all those involved in the illicit drug trade as well as ensure the rehabilitation of the end-users.
“The insurgency in the North East is being fueled by drug addiction. The insurgents do not only consume it, they also use it as a source of their funds to carry out their dastardly acts in that part of the country.
“As serious as the situation is Government is not giving up on drug baron and their users. While the barons will be hunted and appropriately dealt with according to the law, the users who are usually victims of illicit trafficked drugs will be identified, treated and rehabilitated and integrated into the society to make them useful members to themselves and the wider society,” he said.
Col. Abdullah who decried the quantity of the illicit drugs recovered in Benue state said, “it is indeed unfortunate that the land and manpower that could have been used to cultivate agricultural products to provide food security for the nation is diverted to cultivate cannabis a destructive substance.
“This does not portend well for the Benue state appellation ‘the food basket of the nation.”
Earlier, the State Commander of the Agency, Mrs. Florence Ezeonye said the Command was destroying “a total of 28.01 tones (28,019.64kg) of drugs comprising of cannabis Sativa, narcotic and psychotropic substances.”
The Commander who expressed joy at the successes recorded by her Command in recent time sued for more collaboration from all stakeholders to effectively confront the monster of illicit drug business in the state.
She observed that one third of the seized drugs were from rural farmers a development she said was alarming and a source of worry in the fight against the drug menace.
Governor Samuel Ortom who was represented by his Deputy, Benson Abounu lamented that drug abuse among the youths had become a major reason for all forms of social vices and criminality in the country.
“That is why we must take every action necessary to pull them out of this illicit habit and bring them to where they will stand straight and lead lives that would better position them for leadership,” he said.