National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Imo says it seized illicit drugs weighing about 959.677 kilogrammes and arrested 165 suspected drug peddlers comprising, 145 males and 20 females in the year 2020.
NDLEA Commander in the state, Mr Nse Inam, made the disclosure while addressing newsmen on its activities in Owerri on Tuesday.
Inam listed the exhibits to include, Cannabis Sativa, Cocaine, Tramadol and Methamphetamine among others, adding that 24 accused persons were prosecuted with a lot of cases pending at the Federal High Court, Owerri.
He said that in spite of the lockdown orchestrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, over 3,000 persons attended various public enlightenment programmes organised by the command in secondary schools, churches and civic centres.
Inam, an Assistant Commander General of Narcotics (ACGN), also said that the command counseled 97 drug users and successfully rehabilitated three persons with two others currently undergoing rehabilitation.
He urged parents and guardians to supervise the activities of their children and wards as, according to him, the youths formed a greater percentage of illicit drug users in the state.
He also charged residents of the state to remain conscious of their environment and report suspected peddlers to the agency.
“We thank the governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma for supporting the activities of the NDLEA in Imo and we also thank our sister agencies, gentlemen of the press and Imo residents in general for working with us for best results.
“The task of making our communities drug free calls for collective action because our destiny as a people as far as the problem of drugs is concerned is in our hands,” he said.
He however, regretted that the command lost one operative in the course of discharging its duties with two others seriously wounded during the year in review.
Speaking, the command’s Deputy Commander, Operations and Logistics, Mr Raji Kayode, described drug trafficking as a cankerworm which had eaten deeply into the fabrics of many homes.
He charged journalists to shape public opinion by imbibing qualities such as teamwork, trust, collaboration and self-sacrifice.
Also, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command, Mr Lamua Shehu urged youths to desist from admiring what he described as the “ostentatious lifestyle” of peddlers.
He charged them to condemn such lifestyle rather than allowing such to influence their sensibilities adding that only responsible youths would grow into responsible leaders. (NAN)