Kaduna - The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Friday said it had arrested major drug peddlers and seized 692.341 kg of cannabis sativa in Kaduna.
The State Commandant of NDLEA, Mohammed Jibrin stated this when he led other members of the agency on a courtesy visit to Gov. Mukhtar Yero in Kaduna.
Jibrin said the drug barons, Kasim Aliyu, a major distributor near Ikara axis was arrested with some guns; Haruna Yusuf operates around Zaria city, while Nnaji Okafor, a Business Studies student at the Nuhu Bamali Poytechnic, Zaria, was arrested with over 40 bags of cannabis.
He said 68 other persons were arrested with 692.341 kg of cannabis sativa within the last six weeks of his resumption as the new Sector Commandant in the state.
According to him, the circulation of the drugs contributes to the 99 per cent crime rates particularly among youths in the state as well as insecurity that have been bedevilling the nation.
`` The Command has arrested a total of 68 persons with 692.341 kg of cannabis sativa that would have gone into circulation, may be into the hands of violent criminals.
``One can imagine the volume of violence this quantity of cannabis would have induced in its users.’’
Jibrin said the agency had re-strategised its operation, with more emphasis on drug suppliers and barons, whom he said contributed immensely to crime in the society.
He reiterated the commitment of the agency towards the fight against drug abuse, trafficking and rehabilitation of addicts in the society.
`` We are at the same time saving the innocent and wayward youths who are already trapped in drug use. This we do through our rehabilitation Centre in Zaria, where we currently have 20 inmates on admission.”
Jibrin appealed to the state government to assist the agency with operational vehicles, office complex, accommodation or financial assistance to enable it discharge its duties effectively without much hitches.
Responding, Gov. Mukhtar Yero lamented the rates of drug abuse amongst youths, which he said affects their health status immensely, stressing the need for NDLEA to arrest the suppliers and dealers too.
`` If we don’t uproot where the main source is and go only after the consumers, then we have not done anything. We have been saying this and we are trying to see that not only the consumers are caught, but the real people that provide the drugs.’’
Yero commended the agency for nabbing the popular suppliers of drugs circulating in the state, urging them to prosecute any person involved in drug abuse, irrespective of their socio-economic status in the society.
`` There are a lot of suppliers, big-big suppliers of these drugs. So we want to give you our maximum cooperation, whoever is the major source or the major supplier, no matter how big he is in the society and if he is known it is better to pick him up and ensure that we cut him off from making the supply because if there is no supply of these things it is going to be reduced.’’
He said the state government would partner with it through its Ministry for Health, Justice, Education and Information on enlightening campaign on the danger of drug abuse, especially in school environment.
The governor assured the agency that the state government would assist it with a new office accommodation, operational vehicles, as well as other assistance to reduce the crime rates.