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NDLEA destroys over 28,000 kilos of hard drugs in Benue

That's more than 28,000 kilos of hard drugs.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Benue State has destroyed a total of 28.019 tonnes of hard drugs comprising cannabis, narcotic and psychotropic substances seized from offenders across 23 Local Government Areas of the state.

That’s more than 28,000 kilos of hard drugs.

State Commandant of NDLEA, Florence Ezeonye, who led Chairman of the agency and other top government functionaires to witnessed the destruction at the Industrial Layout along Naka road in Makurdi on Thursday intimated that the public destruction of the exhibits followed judicial process marking final action on a case in drug law enforcement administration after the suspects in question had been prosecuted and convicted.

“The quantity of different drugs displayed on stage for destruction today shows the commitment of the NDLEA towards the promotion of national security and health of our citizens as it is obvious that hard drug is a catalyst which propels criminals in committing heinous crimes.

“Today, we are destroying a total of 28.019 tones (28,019.64kg) of drug comprising of cannabis sativa, narcotic and psychotropic substances which is broken down as follows; weight Drug Cannabis Sativa 15,3 1 3 .24 8kg Tramadol 812.919kg Diazepam 72.479kg Rohypnol 15.105kg Exol 149.491kg Pentazocine . l 30.6kg Other Psychotropic 25.761kg Codeine Based Syrup 11,600.0kg Cocaine 0.03 7kg,” she said.

Ezeonye further explained that the substances were seized from all the 23 LGAs in the state, adding that, about one-third of the cannabis sativa were from cannabis farmers in the state, which in her estimation was the main reason why cannabis sativa is available in almost all communities thus fueling crime/criminality.

She therefore called on all stakeholders in the state, especially, the traditional institution to do much more to help step down the tide for the betterment of the society.

Earlier, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Colonel Mohammed Abdullah, had posited that the activities of insurgency in northeastern region of the country continued to be fuelled by drug addiction.

Abdullah made the remark while delivering his speech at the brief ceremony shortly before the public destruction of the hard drug exhibits seized by the State Command.

“For the military personnel and police here, they would know. The real insurgency in the northeastern region is fuelled by drug addiction; not only do they consume it, they use it as a source of their funds to carry out their dastard acts,” he said.

The NDLEA chief noted that the magnitude of drugs exhibit seized by the state command and destroyed in public view indicated that the cankerworm of drugs in the country was not abating, stressing that lands expected to be used for food cultivation in Benue state are now being used for production of cannabis.

He worried that the development does not portends well for Benue known as the ‘Food basket of the nation,’ adding that farmers of the illicit plants also engage underage children who ought to be in school to tend their cannabis farms, thereby destroying the kids’ future.

Abdullah further lamented that drug addiction has become one of the most serious social problems even as it ordinarily proved to be the principal obstruction in the all-round development of the people, society and the country.

He also blamed further desertification on the activities of the cannabis farmers who he said are ruining forest by felling all trees insight to pave way for their illicit farming, suggesting however that governments must show courage to take off such farmers off illicit cultivation through the help of alternative development.

“Cannabis farmers should be supported with incentives that attracts them to cultivate other legitimate crops with economic benefits,” the NDLEA chief added.

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