The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has disclosed that it had arrested 584 persons for drug-related offences, in Lagos State alone, with a seizure of 14,196.800kg of hard drugs.
The agency’s Lagos State Commander, Barr. Ralph Igwenagu, made this disclosure on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, yesterday.
The arrest, according to him, was made within one year, adding that the command also secured the conviction of 144 defendants, who were consequently sentenced with various terms of imprisonment, while 160 drug users were counselled and rehabilitated.
He explained that June 26th was set aside annually to highlight to the global community the dangers associated with drug trafficking and abuse, as well as a day nations of the world were required to assess their performances in drug control, with a view to re-invigorate their efforts at curtailing the drug menace.
The theme of this year’s event ‘Better Knowledge for Better Care’ #FactsForSolidarity, according to him, was apt and timely, noting that “ it underscores the current response to the current world drug challenge which requires better and informed knowledge of drug use disorders which are the result of a complex interplay of factors that are beyond the control of an individual”.
He lamented that drug trafficking and abuse had reached an epidemic level all over the world, and had become an embarrassing scourge afflicting both individuals and the society at large.
“It has destabilized families, truncated the promising future of the youths and has remained a negative force driving anti-social behaviour and the increasing deterioration of societal values and norms.
The escalating wave of crime and criminality such as banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy, terrorism and other forms of societal decay which are challenges confronting us today are rooted in the pervasive consumption of drugs.
The challenge is further compounded by the ever-increasing number of Psychoactive Substances of abuse and use of prescription drugs such as Tramadol, Cough syrup with Codeine, Rohypnol and the locally blended Skushi drink by youths between 18 and 35 years. This has become worrisome indeed”, Igwenagu stated.