From Magnus Eze, Enugu
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Enugu State has urged Nigerians to desist from stigmatising drug addicts.
State Commander of the agency, Bassey Aniete who stated this in Enugu, Friday, as part of activities marking 2021 United Nations International Day against drugs and illicit trafficking, said that dug addicts in the society were neither the enemies of the agency nor that of the society
Aniete said it was rather the drug barons and pedllers who in their avarice for wealth lured the users to patronize their illicit drugs that were the real dangers of the society.
He, then, appealed to people to sympathize with drug addicts, whom he said were capable of being rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society to become useful again.
He further revealed that the command had in the first half of the year arrested 46 suspects consisting of 38 males and eight females with seizure of 717.578 kilogrames of cannabis sativa, 132.39 grammes of cocaine, 34.90 grammes of methamphetamine and 81.810 kilogrames of psychotropic substance.
Aniete stated that the command has with the year prosecuted 20 suspects, made up of 16 males and four females, out of which it secured seven convictions, while 45 clients were counselled, rehabilitated and successfully reintegrated into the society.
He said that “the global drug situation is worrisome and Nigeria or indeed Enugu State cannot be separated, both in prevalence and the attendant consequences. Our youths are getting increasingly involved in drug abuse and trafficking which to a large extent has threatened their future growth rate and development.”
Aniete noted that the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report, 2018, revealed that about 14.3 million Nigerians between the ages of 15 and 64 years had used drugs and appealed to all stakeholders in Enugu State to join hands in tackling the hydra-headed scourge.