Drug war: NDLEA arrests: 31,675, convicted; 5,147 offender, siezed 6.3m kg drugs in 29 months – Marwa

By Our Reporter

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has said that it arrestted 31,675 drug offenders, prosecute and convicted 5, 147 while over 6.3million kilograms of assorted drugs were seized in the last 29 months .

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Mohamed Buba Marwa, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday at a joint press briefing with the Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, to flag off weeklong activities marking the 2023 World Drug Day

According to Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy of the Agency in a statement in Abuja on Monday, Marwa, said that the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking has yielded significant results in the last 29 months with the arrest of 31,675 drug offenders, 5, 147 of them prosecuted and convicted while over 6.3million kilograms of assorted drugs were seized within the same period.

Further more, he said the briefing is an annual event “to mobilise resources, align policies, and inspire organisations, communities, and nations to work in a particular direction to effectively tackle the challenges of illicit substances in society.”

According to the NDLEA boss, “This year’s theme, “People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention,” is in furtherance of the whole-of-society approach to taming the drug scourge.

Spefically he said this theme is especially pertinent to the Nigerian situation at the moment. In the past two and half years, we have strengthened our law enforcement efforts to cut down on the supply of drugs in society.

“In 29 months, we have arrested 31, 675 drug offenders, including 35 barons; successfully prosecuted and got convicted 5,147 of them, and over 11,000 other cases still pending in court, while 23,725 drug users had been counselled and rehabilitated, majority of them through brief interventions. At least 6.3 million kilograms of various illicit substances have been recovered in response to our efforts to sweep up drugs and shut down the distribution channels. We have destroyed 852.142 hectares of cannabis farms and dismantled three clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. I can assure you that even as we speak, NDLEA agents are busy with interdiction activities somewhere.”

He also said drug supply reduction is however only one of the components of the equation. “Another crucial component is drug demand reduction, which operationally means prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. It should go without saying that we must strike a balance between these two crucial components if we are to achieve our desired utopia of a drug-free society.

“NDLEA has made significant investments in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation over the last two years. The doors of our rehabilitation facilities are open at all times. In the last 29 months, we have acquired a few more rehab centres, given to us as donations, while we have also obtained the federal government’s approval for the construction of regional model rehabs.

More private treatment facilities are also cooperating with NDLEA. To cap it all, NDLEA went above and beyond to invest in a toll-free, round-the-clock call centre that provides teletherapy. In summary, we have prioritised treatment, while our WADA advocacy initiative has taken a life of its own with our Commands, Formations and partnering civil society organisations taking sensitisation lectures and campaigns to schools, communities, worship places and many more across the country everyday. In addition, we have also produced TV Commercials and Radio Jingles in different languages being broadcast on various platforms.

This is simply aimed at prevention, by sensitising the people and equipping them with facts about drugs to enable them take the right decisions against substance abuse”, Marwa who was represented at the event by the Agency Secretary, Shadrach Haruna added.

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