In Borno, NDLEA nabs 52 suspects, seizes 826kg of illicit drugs
THE National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Borno State arrested 52 drugs suspects and seized about 826.4 kilogrammes of psychotropic substances.
Among the substances were diazepam, nitrazepam, exol lexotan, tramol and cannabis or Indian hemp seized at various points in Borno State and border areas with Niger, Chad and Cameroun.
Apart from the arrests and seizures of illicit drugs 97 drug addicts were also counselled by the agency on the consumption, trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs.
Disclosing these facts yesterday in Maiduguri, the state capital to journalists, the NDLEA State Commander, Dr. Wale Ige also listed the challenges of fighting illicit drug abuse and trafficking in Borno State and border areas of the sub-region.
He lamented that because of the challenges of combating drug abuse and trafficking, the agency’s limited patrol vehicles and other facilities could not effectively and efficiently patrol the porous borders, stating that after drug traffickers had passed through many states, some were intercepted and arrested within the state and border areas of Banki, Gamboru/Ngala and Gwoza.
The inadequacy of facilities, he said, had resulted in the suspected drug traffickers to device new tactics to overcome the agency’s intelligence surveillances on patrolling the entire border areas with Niger, Chad and Cameroun.
He said the increasing rate of drug trafficking in the North-East sub-region and the rampant consumption of illicit drugs in different parts of the state was beginning to cause serious concern in the communities living within and the border areas, especially since many youths are now involved in drug abuse.
On the negative consequences of drug abuse and trafficking, Dr. Ige said: “The attendant consequences of these drugs is increased criminality, intimidation and harassment of innocent citizens by these youths that consume and abuse illicit drugs.”
He added that most of the people that consumed and abused the drugs were the unemployed and school dropouts.
As the 2011 general elections draw near, Ige warned politicians against the engagement and exploitation of idle youths as political thugs to intimidate their opponents.
He said: “Politicians should desist from using the drug addicts for selfish interests, because if any of them is arrested for illicit drugs and points accusing fingers at a politician, no matter the standing of the politician, we will ensure the law takes its course.”
He also urged the youths to resist any attempt by anyone to engage them as thugs, noting that when the drug suspects are arrested by the agency, the politicians would disown them rather than come to their defense.
He also called on parents to warn their children and wards against being used by the politicians, stating that any party offices that accommodated the sale and consumption of illicit drugs would be sealed off by the agency.