Ondo State command of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disclosed that no fewer than 150 suspected drug addicts were arrested in the state between January and June this year.
Also, the command disclosed that a total of 7, 702.114kg of hard drugs comprising 7, 653.445kg of cannabis sativa, 48.669kg of psychotropic substances and 0.06grams of cocaine were seized by the agency within the same period.
The state commander of the agency, Mr Haruna Gagara, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Akure in commemoration of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking with the theme: “Better Knowledge For Better Care.”
Among the 150 suspects arrested, he said 138 of them were male while the remaining 12 were female.
Haruna emphasised the need to mitigate the impact of drug abuse and illicit trafficking on the health and security of the citizenry.
He noted that “the current high rate of rape in the country is associated with drug abuse. It is one of the predisposing factors fueling the rise in cases of this nature; therefore, the need for cooperation cannot be overemphasised.”
He hinted that five bags of cannabis sativa were seized yesterday at Agunla area of Ogbese in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.
He, therefore, explained that “if we must enjoy a drug-free and healthy society devoid of crime, it is imperative that families, government, communities, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations and religious organisations should take necessary steps to counter the rising drug problems in our country.”
The commander lamented that those involved in planting of cannabis sativa use government forest reserves to cultivate the illicit drug.
This, according to him, has made it difficult for the agency to easily track them.
He, therefore, urged the public to inform the agency whenever they see such plantation anywhere, including forest reserves, just as he emphasised enlightenment programmes to discourage the youths from indulging in illicit drug consumption and trafficking.