From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday, destroyed over four tons of illicit drugs in Jalingo and other substances in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.
Executive Chairman of the agency, Brig Gen. Buba Marwa, who led the destruction of the illicit substances, called on the public to collaborate with the agency, to reduce the menace of drug abuse to its barest minimum.
Marwa, who was represented by Zonal Commander, Zone B, Yola, Alhaji Idris Bello, said that the exercise was one of the hallmarks of the global drug control mechanism.
The chairman, who said that seized drugs must be promptly destroyed as its continued stay posed a serious hazard to every aspect of human life, assured that the Taraba Command of the NDLEA would publicly set ablaze a total of 4,050.367 kilograms of drugs.
Marwa listed the drugs to be destroyed as 3,158.701 kilograms of cannabis sativa and 900.667 kilograms of psychotropic substances such as tramadol, pentazocine injection, codeine, rohypnol diazepam and other non conventional drugs with the newly discovered “Akuskura”.
While recalling that the United Nations Office on Drugs Control (Nations UNODC), in its 2018 survey, stated that Nigeria had 14.3 million illicit drug users, Marwa disclosed that Taraba State at the time had 213,000 drug users, representing 13 percent of its population.
He said one out of four drug users in the state was a female and identified Taraba’s geographical location, which shared common boundary with the Republic of Cameroon as well as activities of hostile elements within the state, as responsible for its vulnerability to the drug challenge among the growing youth population.
In his remark, governor Ishaku expressed concern over the extent of drug abuse and illicit trafficking in the state. He said the destruction of the illicit drugs was aimed at stopping such drugs from being recycled in society in the interest of public health.
Ishaku, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Anthony Jellason, said the administration would soon provide a befitting office accommodation for the command. He said the administration would continue to support the command, to ensure that consumption of illicit drugs was controlled to the later.
Daily Sun recalled that the first destruction of illicit drugs in the state was carried out in 2019, making yesterday’s the second exercise of such.