From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Oyo State Command, arrested 133 suspects and convicted 44 among them for various offences in 2020.
This was contained a New Year message sent to residents of the state by the state coordinator of the agency, Josephine Obi, which was made available to journalists in Ibadan on Friday by the command’s spokesperson, Mrs. Mutiat Okuwobi.
According to the statement, the suspects were arrested for offences, including dealing in cannabis sativa, cocaine, tramadol, diazepam, rohypnol and codeine in 2020.
The command recorded the seizure of 4739.195kg of Cannabis sativa and other narcotic and psychotropic substances during the period under review.
The 44 suspects were convicted for various drug offences were sentenced to jail terms, ranging from six months to 10 years.
Obi also gave brief intervention counseling to 51 People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) and rehabilitated 11 persons who were subsequently integrated back to the society in this same period.
She said the command carried out 33 sensitization programmes within the state and also participated in 24 radio and 15 television enlightenment programmes.
“The command also distributed public enlightenment materials to primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions and other organisations across the state.
“Two cannabis sativa farms measuring 0.27938 hectare were destroyed at Ajani Village in Ona- Ara Local Government Area of the state. Another cannabis farm, which measured 0.125402 hectare was also destroyed at Ogunmakin village in Oluyole Local Government Area.
“There is hope for People Who Use Drugs (PWUD). So, parents and loved ones should never give up. Going by the theme for this year’s International Day Against Illicit Drug Abuse and trafficking, ‘Better knowledge for Better Care’, we should all get useful information on drug abuse to enable us contribute to bringing drug abuse down to the barest minimum in our communities.”
The state command appreciates the support from the state government and various stakeholders during the course of the year and pleads for greater collaboration from the public in the coming year in order to curb the increasing menace of drug abuse in the state.