Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested 245 drug suspects and seized 5020 kilograms of cannabis sativa popularly known as Indian hemps in the last one year.
State Commander of the Agency, Mrs. Florence Ezeonye disclosed this on Friday during a press briefing to mark this year’s United Nations Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking with the theme; ‘Better Knowledge for Better Care’.
She explained that of the arrested suspects, 231 were males while 14 were females adding that the seized Indian hemps contained 385 kilograms of Psychotropic substances and 62,254 milliliters of Codeine based syrups.
Ezeonye said three locally made pistols as well as one pump action gun with five pieces of live ammunition were also recovered from the suspects.
“On the 8th June, 2020, a truck loaded with 302 bags of Cannabis Sativa weighing 3926kg from Edo State was intercepted in Makurdi. Another very outstanding seizure from Otukpo is 197 cartons of Codeine based syrup.
The state Commander said sometimes last week, the Agency got intelligence about a cannabis farm at Tse-Abi community revealing that before her men could get to the farm, the owner of the farm had harvested and processed 23 bags of dried weed suspected to be Indian hemps weighing 282kg.
She noted that the Command had rehabilitated and counseled 108 clients some of whom came willingly while others were brought into the facility by families and friends.
While observing that one of the risk factors which predisposes people getting involved in illicit use of drugs and trafficking are on the rise now, Ezeonye noted that drug addiction is to a great extent a psychiatric illness which can change the brain and affect the normal hierarchy of needs and desires.
“There are situations where drug abusers abandoned spouses, school, work and other important responsibilities. They can exchange personal belongings such as wrist watches, cars, houses etc for drugs because their brains have been conditioned to prioritize drug use above other needs,” Ezeonye said.