Abuja, Dec. 7, 2023(NAN) The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Thursday in Abuja, destroyed over 30 tons of illicit drugs and substances worth an estimated street value of N2.58 billion.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the drugs were seized by operatives of the FCT Command of the NDLEA and that of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Speaking at the event, NDLEA Chairman, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, said that the agency would not relent in pursuing its War Against Drug Abuse and encouraging citizens to take ownership of the drug war.
Represented by Deputy Commander General of Narcotics, Mrs Victoria Egbase, the chairman said that the event was a testimony of the agency’s resolve to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Nigerians.
”Today’s public destruction of over 30 tons of illicit drugs and substances, further buttresses that call to action.
“The breakdown of these drugs are 72.156kgs of Cocaine, 4.3838 Kgs of Heroin, 3.9kgs of Ephedrine, 20.185kg of Methamphetamine, 30,440.42kgs of Cannabis.
“Others include: 0.2115kgs of Rohypnol, 274.891kg of Tramadol, 397.35kgs of Diazepam and 239.2kg of Khat, totaling 31, 531.09kgs.
“These drugs are valued at an estimated N2,580,209,783.00 in street value,” he said.
Marwa said that the sheer bulk of the drugs destroyed was a reminder about the magnitude of the drug problem in the country.
”Just two of the facts are enough to cause a sober reflection. One: 14.3 million Nigerians aged 15-64 years, are abusing drugs. That is the size of the population of some countries.
”And two, 10.6 million of our compatriots abuse cannabis, which makes Nigeria one of the countries with the highest number of people addicted to the psychotropic plant.”
He said that ”the statistics are worrisome when you look beyond the figures to their health and security implications.
“While the larger society may not have an immediate grasp of the import of the drug facts and figures of Nigeria, those of us at NDLEA can read the handwriting on the wall as per the dire implications of the findings from the survey.
“That is why since the coming on board of the current leadership of NDLEA in January 2021, we have doubled down on our efforts and now aggressively pursue our mandate.
“To this end, NDLEA has been effectively repositioned more than ever before to curtail the production, cultivation, processing, importation, exportation, sales, trafficking and abuse of controlled drugs and illicit substances.”
Speaking earlier, the NDLEA FCT Commander, Mr Kabir Tsakuwa said that the destroyed illicit drugs were product of painstaking drug enforcement efforts of the last three years, beginning from Jan. 30, 2021.
Tsakuwa said that the commands successfully convicted 306 drug dealers comprising 294 males and 12 females to various jail terms within the period.
He appreciated the Nigeria Army, Customs, Police, DSS, Civil Defence, Correctional Service, FRSC and Immigration for their support in apprehending suspects.
“The destruction exercise is not only sending a strong signal to drug dealers but also showcasing the agency’s determination to create a drug free society,” he said.
Also speaking, the Vice Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council, Mr Umar Nasir pledged the council’s support to make the FCT free of illicit drugs.