The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Cross River State Command, has arrested 156 male and 20 female suspects with illicit drugs weighing 36.277 kg as it intensifies war on drug abuse which, the Agency believes, has sent many young men to early graves and precipitated societal crimes in alarming proportion.
The State Commander of the Agency, Mrs Anthonia Edeh, who made the disclosure at the commemoration of this year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Calabar yesterday said the suspects were arrested for various drug related offences across the State within the last one year.
“The drugs seized from the suspects include cannabis sativa 332.57kg; cocaine 342.4gms; heroin 249.3grms and psychotropic substances 33.256kg,” she stated.
The Commander explained that her command secured 34 convictions at the Federal High Court Calabar during the time under review, while 109 drug addicts were counseled and re-united with their families.
“We also carried out sensitization of the general public through seminars and enlightenment on the dangers of drug abuse and illicit trafficking, Mrs Edeh said, and stressed the need for all stakeholders to join hands in the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking
While emphasizing that the fight was a shared responsibility, the Commander said it was in line with the theme of this year’s celebration ‘Listen First,’ explaining that “listening to children and the youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.”
She appealed to the Cross River government and other organizations and individuals to establish drug rehabilitation centres in the State for easy drug demand reduction.
“There is the need to make drug demand reduction more functional by effectively providing succour to people with abuse problem through the establishment of rehabilitation centers in the state,” she said.