Illicit drugs being destroyed
By Vanessa Obioha
Recently, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) seized and destroyed illicit drugs at Ibereko-Badagry Area Command of the NDLEA, Badagry.
The event which was witnessed by various security officials and agencies portrayed the Agency’s continual fight in eliminating the act of drug trafficking and abuse which endangers the society at large.
The haul of nearly 12, 676, 121 kg of drugs which is relatively worth millions of naira through incineration,in what has become, the fight to curb this social issue is far from over as officials of NDLEA are determined to eliminate this trend in the society.
Of the 12, 676, 121 kg of drugs destroyed in the public destruction were 12, 543, 260 kg of cannabis, 76.341 kg of heroin, 43.770 kg of cocaine, 3, 600 kg of methamphetamine and 9.15 kg of amphetamine.
The quantity of drugs destroyed at the event was higher than the one destroyed last year which was about 8,000 kg. This shows the level of transparency of the Agency and its focus to help save humanity.
According to the Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Ahmadu Giade, part of the heroin destroyed in the burning exhibition was the recent shipment from Pakistan which was intercepted by NDLEA officers at Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Lagos.
In a recent capture at the Seme border, a drug peddler concealed 1.3kg in his tight underwear. He had flown all the way from Dubai to Benin Republic where he boarded a bus to Lagos. While at the NDLEA checkpoint in Badagry, officers of the NDLEA were at alert once they went through his international passport.
This shows the level of transparency by the agency to curb this menace in the society despite the smartness of drug barons to avoid their death traps.
In an exclusive interview, the Assistant Commander of Operations and Intelligence of the NDLEA Area Command, Badagry, Adamu Eigege, attributed the high rate of drug trafficking in the society to prevailing social issues such as unemployment and high rise of poverty. According to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the rate of unemployment in the country has escalated from 19.7 percent in 2009 to 23.9 percent in December 2011. This was corroborated by the UN report which claims that out of 10 Nigerian fresh graduates, only 3 are sure of employment. This shows the high level of joblessness among the youths in the country.
Adamu described the youths as restless beings who ought to be engaged in recreational activities and where such facilities lack, will look elsewhere. This was reiterated in a statement made by the Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency while emphasising on the non-legalisation of the use of narcotics in the country for recreational purposes at the event.
The high cost of living in the society has inadvertently affected the high rate in drug trafficking as individuals look for easier means to acquire wealth, despite the risks involved. With the high expectations from family and society, it is easy to lure an individual to engage in drug-trafficking which will fetch him money on the fast lane.
Eigege urged the government to create more job opportunities in order to engage these individuals in activities more worthwhile.
• Obioha writes from Badagry, Lagos