The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested 59 suspected drug dealers and seized 236.7 kilograms of illicit drugs and psychotropic substance within six months in Kebbi.
The state Commander of the agency, Suleiman Jadi, made this known at a rally marking the United Nations Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday.
“The command is fighting very hard to make sure that drug abuse and illicit trafficking is reduced to the barest minimum.
“Between January and June this year, the command seized a total of 236.737kg of illicit drugs and psychotropic substance, while 59 suspects were arrested. Out of this figure, 212.165kg are Cannabis Sativa,” Mr Jadi said.
He said the agency secured conviction of seven offenders to various jail terms within the period while other cases are still pending at the Federal High Court, Birnin Kebbi.
“In the area of rehabilitation, a total of 17 clients were rehabilitated and out of which nine were referred to National Directorate for Employment, NDE, for skills acquisition while eight were from the neighboring state.
“Currently, we have nine clients undergoing rehabilitation out of which two are female,” he said.
According to him, NDLEA needs the collaboration of more stakeholders to carry them further in the fight against drug abuse as the agency cannot do it alone.
Mr Jadi said the society should be thinking of an alternative approach to drug problems.
“Instead of hate, blame, punishment and rejection; it is high time for us to treat drug offenders with compassion, empathy, community support and care,’’ Mr Jadi said.
The commander also called on the general public to always supply the command with useful information on activities of drug dealers in their communities.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme for this year’s commemoration, “Health for Justice and Justice for Health”, is to highlight that the justice and health are two side of the coin, when it comes to addressing drug problems.
The aim is to further have an effective response towards the world drug problems which requires inclusive and accountable institution of criminal justice, health and social service.