Cecilia Onah, Lafia

Nasarawa State has been ranked second position in drug abuse prevalence rate in the North-Central Geo-Political Zone of the country.

The State commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Peter Onche-Odaudu, made the disclosure at an event to commemorate the 2023 United Nations, International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Lafia.

He said that the command would not relent until it changes the narrative and make the state one of the safest in terms of drugs abuse.

On the achievements of NDLEA in the state, Onche-Odaudu said agency had seized 4, 257, 831 kilograms of illicit drugs in the state from June-2022-June-2023.

The commander gave the breakdown to includes, 4,152.755 kg of cannabis sativa, 84.065kg of cough syrup with codeine, 0.698kg of methamphetamine, 0.017kg of cocaine.

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He also explained that 102 suspects were arrested out of which 18 are female and 84 are male.

“53 of the suspects were convicted by the Federal High Court, Lafia and serving various jail terms with other cases still currently going on.

“We have rehabilitated nine drug addicts in our facility in Lafia and offered counselling intervention to 397 suspects and users without taking them to custody for prosecution,” the Commander added.

Onche-Odaudu attributed the successes recorded to the effort of their staff across the state and urged that the tempo should be sustained.

He expressed gratitude to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Buba Marwa, for creating an enabling environment for them to function, while thanking Governor Abdullahi Sule and other stakeholders for their support in the fight against Illicit drugs.

The NDLEA boss however listed some challenges confronting the command to include; paucity of funds, inadequate operational vehicles, unwillingness of the public to volunteer information of drug dealers among others.

“Despite the challenges, we will continue to tackle drug trafficking in the state. The war against Drug abuse is everybody’s war and not that of NDLEA alone, I therefore, invite all and sundry to join us to reverse the negative testimony concerning the state,” he added.