The Delta state command of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcment Agency (NDLEA) has revealed that from January to November 2017, the agency in the state has arrested 250 suspects, including men and women, confiscated 6844kilogram of canabis sativa, 2.09kg of cocaine and 22.2grams of heroine.
State commander of the agency, Dennis Obiefule, told journalists in Ogwashi Uku, state command headquarters that the breakthrough was made in different parts of the state where his men raided and confiscated the drugs.
The state commader, who spoke for over two hours, said so far 19 convictions have been secured while N113,000 and two vehicles were seized during the raid by officers of the command.
Specifically, he said 4.24hectares of land was destroyed in Ndokwa west and Ukwuani local government areas of the state, adding that in 2015, the agency destroyed 13 hectares of such crops in the same location.
He said when a location is raided, the suspects are invited for counselling but noted that the suspects never turn up for the counselling, hence to avoid that they are confined until the period of their counselling is over.
Though the agency has been in the war against ilicit drugs in the state, the state commander said their efforts are not being appreciated by people in authority.
He explained that the agency has five area commands but only two have vehicles, adding: “If government gives police 10 Hilux vans, give NDLEA one. We need people in government and concerned Deltans to help NDLEA. We seize vehicles but we are not allowed to use them.”
On the method applied to detect drug traffickers on the highway, he said NDLEA officers are trained on how to detect people carrying controlled drugs.
He said: “Your dressing tells who you are. If I look at your face and you throw away your eyes, I can detect you. Based on our training and experience, we can detect drug traffickers on the highway.”
He said the drugs that NDLEA confiscates are not medicals rather they are illegal drugs, noting that it is only pharmacists that are allowed access to controlled drugs.
He lamented the pain his officers go through to rid the state of ilicit drugs. He said some of his men were murdered in some communities for daring to step in.
Obiefule said the Nigerian law bans cultivation, dealing and transportation of igbo, Indian hemp, calling on all Nigerians to obey the law.
Specifically, he said in 2009, two officers of the command were murdered in Abbi, Ndokwa west local government area of the state, adding: “We want to help society but society does not appreciate our work.
“NDLEA is not being funded. We don’t have equipment and we don’t have enough personnel. The agency is doing so much to ensure that Nigeria is not blacklisted. Every year, we make our budget but the release is not forthcoming. For Delta state, the government is not responding.”