January 24, 2024.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Akwa Ibom Command, said the agency secured 68 convictions and rehabilitated 12 cases in 2023.
The State Commander of the agency, Mrs Obot Bassey, said this at a news briefing in Uyo on Tuesday.
Bassey said the command, during the period, arrested 195 suspects, comprising 159 males and 36 females and seized drugs weight 1, 267.24kg.
She also said that the command counselled no fewer than 278 people, comprising 263 males and 15 females during the period.
“During the period under review, we secured 68 convictions and all of them are serving various jail terms in our custodial centres.
“Compared with the statistics of 2022, it is obvious that the command made better achievement in 2023.
“With the seizure of 460.344kg of drugs in 2022 and 1,267.24kg in 2023, there is 175 per cent increase in the seizures recorded.
“The drug war is not an easy one as drug traffickers change their modus operandi daily to evade arrest.
“In the same vein, officers are on high alert and on their toes giving them close pursuit.
“The implication of the prevalence of hard drugs in Akwa Ibom is the spike in criminal activities, such as frequent cult clashes, youth unrest, daring armed robbery cases, kidnapping, militancy and the like,” Bassey said.
She also said that the state had been identified “mostly as a consumer/transit state with drug dealers striving to litter the streets with illicit drugs”.
According to her, the agency will continue to collaborate with sister agencies in the state to fight drug menace to the barest.
“The success recorded by the command in 2023 was made possible by the grace of God and brave efforts of the officers and men of the command.
“The command is still faced with challenges, includung the need for operational vehicles to effectively and efficiently cover the 31 Local Government Areas of the State.
“The command is also in need of barracks for the safety of our officers,” she said.
Bassey said that in 2024, the command would be aggressive in its fight to dismantle drug cartel in the state.
She said that the command would step up sensitisation and advocacy campaigns on the consequences of illicit drug trafficking and abuse in the state.
She assured Akwa Ibom residents of the command’s readiness to arrest offenders, prosecute and convict them to serve as deterrent to others.
She commended the Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, for his support to Akwa Ibom command and solicited for more in the years ahead to ensure that illicit drugs were eliminated from the state.NAN