The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has arrested 149 suspects and seized 1,699kg of illicit drugs between January and June in Kogi.
The NDLEA Commander in Kogi, Abdulkadir Abdullahi-Fakai, made the disclosure at a news conference on Tuesday in Lokoja, as part of a week-long celebration of the United Nations Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking.
Speaking at the event with the theme: ‘Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crisis,’ the commander said the suspects included males and females, while the seized drugs included Codeine, Methamphetamine, Exol-5, Diazepam, tramadol, Cannabis sativa, and Pentazocine among others.
“Consequently, the command has convicted 29 accused persons and other cases are still pending at the Federal High Court, Lokoja,” he said.
He described the drug abuse situation in Kogi as highly disturbing and called for collective efforts to tackle it, NAN reported.
“The drug situation in Nigeria and indeed Kogi is disturbing, especially being a microcosm of Nigeria.
“And as a federating unit, Kogi cannot stand alone in the face of this ominous threat of drug abuse and trafficking.
“The implication on security, economic and the general wellbeing is dire.
“Statistics and empirical facts from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency operations indicate clearly that the drug problem is mutating into a colossal social problem.
“It has become an issue linked beyond doubt to the escalation of insecurity and its attendant effects on peace and economy across the country, ” he added.
Abdullahi-Fakai said that drugs remained the major catalyst of the debilitating effects of armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry, rape and other violent crimes in the country.
“We know that drugs are mostly the catalyst for these vices because anywhere that there are drugs, there is crime and vice versa,” he added.
He said that the command had engaged in various operations, advocacy and sensitisation to solicit collective action to tackle the menace of drug abuse and trafficking.
“In the area of drug abuse and preventive education, 25 schools and organisations were sensitised from January to date while 84 clients referred from investigation units were counselled within the period.
“Drug war is an onerous task that cannot be left in the hands of the agency alone,” the commander added.
He also gave details of other seizures made within the period to include the interception of 29 pieces of military camouflage uniforms in a truck and the arrest of an escaped prisoner.
Abdullahi-Fakai called on the general public to cooperate with the NDLEA by providing useful information on the activities of drug traffickers and vendors.