By Victor Ogunje
The Chairman of the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd), has disclosed that illicit drugs worth over N60 billion have been seized by the agency in the last two months, which confirmed the alarming level of drug abuse and trafficking in the country.
Marwa gave the startling revelation yesterday in Ado-Ekiti at a colloquium tagged: “Walk Away from Drugs,” which was organised by the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice.
He described the menace of drug abuse as the most worrisome in the country.
The former Military Governor of Lagos State said: “Insurgence, kidnapping and banditry are peculiar to some certain parts of the country, but drug abuse is universal. It has no boundary and no respect for ethnicity or religion.
“The menace is worrisome. Within the last two months, more than N60 billion worth of illicit drugs have been seized and perpetrators arrested and prosecuted.
“If access to drugs is prevented, criminality can be reduced by 50 per cent in the country.”
The NDLEA boss called for concerted campaign against the use of illicit drugs among the citizenry, suggesting that parents should henceforth include drug certificate as parts of the criteria to give their daughters and sons hands in marriage.
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in his address at the meeting, restated the commitment of his administration at reducing drug abuse in the state.
Fayemi, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Bisi Egbeyemi, urged participants to take the deliberation seriously and come out with implementable plans to rid the society of the menace.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Fapounda, pointed out that the programme was organised as a result of the alarming cases of criminality being perpetrated because of the use of hard drugs.
Fapounda said: “In most cases, when we are prosecuting offenders through the ministry, investigation would later reveal that the perpetrators committed the offence under the influence of hard drugs. That makes it expedient for all of us to rise against illicit drugs.”