By Francis Sardauna in Katsina
No fewer than 344 suspected drugs traffickers have been apprehended by the Katsina State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) between January and June 2019.
The anti-drug agency also seized 125.40838 kilogrammes of illicit drugs, 17,480 tablets of psychotropics and 5.1 litres of substance, suspected to be codeine within the period under review.
The state Commander of NDLEA, Mrs. Maryam Gambo Sani, stated this at a news conference on Wednesday to commemorate the 2019 United Nations Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
She explained that 63 suspects had been sentenced to various jail terms, while 35 were undergoing trial at the state Federal High Court.
“Worthy of note also is the crackdown on a group of 11 elderly people between the ages of 50 to about 70 years in their hideout in Funtua while smoking cannabis sativa. One of the syndicates that specialises in bringing hard drugs into Katsina from Kaduna State were apprehended with the vehicle they used for the distribution.
“In our drug demand reduction strategy, we made laudable achievements in the rehabilitation of 30 female clients who have since been discharged and presently rehabilitating five female and seven male clients,” she said.
She, however, expressed displeasure over the involvement of school age children into drug abuse and trafficking, adding that the situation if left unchecked could tarnish the future of Nigerian youths.
The NDLEA state commander therefore, appealed to Governor Aminu Bello Masari to approve the resuscitation of state and local governments drug control committee to enable the command reach out to the rural dwellers in order to eradicate the problem.
While assuring the governor that the agency would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders in reducing the threat of drug production, trafficking and abuse, the NDLEA boss explained that the war against drug abuse remains a collaborative effort.
She reaffirmed that as part of effort to address the menace, the command has embarked on numerable campaigns on the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking to primary and secondary schools, motor parks and tertiary institutions across the states.