The Edo Command of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said that no fewer than 362 suspects were arrested for illicit drugs use and trafficking between June 2018 and May 2019.
The state Commander, Mr Buba Wakawa, disclosed this on Wednesday in Benin at the ceremony marking the 2019 United Nations Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Wakawa said that the figure comprised 229 males and 133 females, adding that 42,122.43 kilogrammes of illicit drugs were seized by the command within the period under review.
Giving the breakdown of the figure, he said the seized items comprised 42,090.24 kilogrammes of substance suspected to be cannabis sativa and 31.63 kilogrammes of suspected psychotropic substance.
He further said that 534 grammes of substance suspected to be heroine, and 24 grammes of substance suspected to be cocaine were also seized within the period.
The commander also said that 34 hard drug farms measuring 25 hectares were destroyed, while 15 vehicles suspected to be used as means of conveyance were confiscated.
He said the command secured 13 convictions of drugs dealers, while 178 cases were still pending in courts as 316 drugs dependent persons were counseled and reintegrated into society.
The state commander also noted that the Edo State Government has plans to build a drug rehabilitation centre.
Wakawa also said that in furtherance of the agency’s drug demand reduction efforts, a member of staff of the command had written two books to increase awareness on both human and drug trafficking.
He gave the titles of the books as “Dance Against Taboo” and “The Last Syndicate” by Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju, the command’s Public Relations Officer.
He stressed the need for parents to take closer look at the lifestyles of their children.
Wakama said good parenting could help children build coping skills against peer group pressure as well as provide knowledge of the effects of substance abuse to them.
He noted that the menace of drug abuse was multi-faceted and as such required aggressive public enlightenment campaign, complemented by other measures to exterminate the trend.
The theme for the 2019 celebration is “Health For Justice, Justice For Health”. (NAN)