ational Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday said it had arrested 26 suspected drug traffickers and recovered illegal substances in Abia State.
This was even as the state Ministry of Homeland Security pledged to support NDLEA in its fight to check escalating increase in the use of illegal drugs.
The state Commissioner for Homeland Security, Mr. Dan Okoli, said during his visit to the NDLEA’s office that the synergy would yield good dividends.
Okoli, who linked most violent crimes to hard drugs, noted that the agency’s operations were at the heart of reducing crimes in Abia State, hence the need to support it to the fullest.
He said: “You’ll find out that crimes are committed when the perpetrators are under influence, which is the root of the crime. If you attack crime from its root, it will be easier to be uprooted. This is why the government is interested in the NDLEA. We’re going to do things to the best of our ability to assist NDLEA to reduce drug abuse to the barest minimum in Abia State.
“This will make it easier for me, my ministry and other security agencies in the state to curb crime. We’ll also try to monitor them because where you put your resources is where you’ll pay attention to.”
The commissioner praised the NDLEA for the arrest of 26 drug suspects at the notorious ‘Milverton York’ in Aba. He revealed that after he received information about the dreadful acts going at Milverton York, he quickly passed the information to the NDLEA, leading to the arrest of the suspects.
Okoli explained that part of his ministry’s mandate was advocacy, explaining that the advocacy programme was intended to sensitise community leaders, transport unions and vigilance groups to security issues.
Earlier, the state NDLEA Commander, Mr. Bamidele Akingbade, noted that Abia State had a high preponderance of hard drugs. He noted that NDLEA had been doing its best to check the trend. He, however, called for support to overcome the agency’s handicaps, such as lack of vehicles form operations.
Akingbade explained that the 26 suspects arrested were part of the agency’s Christmas and New Year efforts to ensure no drug dealer was allowed a field day in the state.
The commander also urged the state to support his agency’s drive to ensure that laws were reviewed and the legal bench was sensitised to ensure adequate punishment of drug dealers.
Akingbade said that some of the drugs recovered from the suspects included heroin, cocaine, marijuana, mixture of marijuana and alcoholic drinks (Monkey tail), packets of tramadol and cocaine hidden and packaged in clothes’ buttons.