The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kwara Command on Monday in Ilorin, said it had seized about 2,329.642kgs of drugs from July 2021 to date.
Mr. Ibrahim Saidu, its Commander, stated this during a news conference organised to commemorate the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drugs Trafficking.
The programme was organised in conjunction with the Kwara Ministry of Health and the Office of the Kwara Governor’s Wife.
The day is celebrated consistently in commemoration of the global achievement against drug abuse, drug trafficking, production of illicit narcotics and psychotic drugs.
Saidu stated that the agency had arrested a total number of 415 suspects, out of which 362 were males and 53 females.
“The agency had so far convicted 41, counselled 160 and rehabilitated 22,” he said.
Saidu stated that the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), annual report placed Kwara at 13 per cent drug abuse prevalence, the highest in North Central states of Nigeria.
The NDLEA commander decried the recent spike in the involvement of single and married women in drug peddling in the state.
“However, the command is conducting intelligence-led operational activities to reverse the trend.
”This is in addition to the various advocacy and enforcement programmes already put in place.
“This is the aspect of addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises, which involves the collective contributions and efforts of the society, communities, stakeholders and of course the state government and its institutions,” he said.
Saidu said the agency is being confronted with a series of challenges including Paucity of funds and slow criminal justice system of the country, among others.
Also, Mrs Barakat Olanrewaju, Chairman of Kwara Drug Control Committee, said the theme of the 2022 drug abuse day is “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health Humanitarian Crises.”
Olanrewaju lauded the Governor’s Wife, Mrs Olufolake Abdulrazaq, who is a patron, for her support in ensuring a drug-free state.
“Mrs Abdulrazaq has sensitised about 30 Kwara schools to drug abuse across the three senatorial districts and community mobilisation in 22 Kwara communities,” she said.
In his remark, Mr Ganiyu Opeloyeru, the Executive Director of Ajike Support Centre of the Kwara First Lady, said ”it is worrisome that Kwara is leading in drug abuse in the North Central zone.
”The Kwara Governor’s wife will do all that is necessary to ensure that this trend changes for the better and drug abuse is controlled”.