By Odo Ogenyi, Uyo
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Akwa Ibom has said it would conduct drug test for intending couples to reduce domestic violence in the state.
State Commander of NDLEA in the state, Mrs Obot Bassey, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Uyo on Wednesday on the activities of the Agency in the outgone year and projection for 2023.
Bassey also disclosed that in the year 2022, NDLEA siezed 460.344kg of hard drugs and arrested 348 suspects.
She said the suspects comprised 302 males and 46 females, while the hard drugs siezed were 231.377kg of cannabis Sativa, 2.611kg of Cocaine, 0.919kg of Heroine, 0.032kg of Meth, 92.803kg of Amphetamine and 133.196kg of psychotropic substance.
The state commander said that during the period the command secured 58 convictions, rehabilitated 15 persons and counselled 265 cases.
She added that within the year under review, the command destroyed by burning to the glare of the public, a total of 2.786 tonnes of drugs exhibits siezed.
“Of spectacular notes were the arrests and siezures of 90kg Amphetamine with street value of N2.5 billion and 2.4kg of Cocaine by the State Command.
“Who knows what great damage these drugs if un-intercepted would have done to our immediate families, community and the State,” Bassey said.
According to her, out of the 31 Local Government Areas in the state, Uyo LGA is the highest area of drug abuse, closely followed by Ikot Ekpene LGA and Itu LGA.
She said that the command was in dire need of operational vehicles to effectively and efficiently cover the 31 LGAs, operational boats for the marine unit to patrol the waterways and barracks for safety of personnel.
The commander appealed to multinational organisations, philanthropists and all individuals to join hands with the NDLEA, to reduce drug abuse and trafficking to the barest minimum in the state.
“So, I am using this medium to tell the entire Akwa Ibom people to look for all substances that are not supposed to be consumed and keep the NDLEA posted on these substances.
“They must also report any suspected environment or neighbours doing any illicit drug trading or abuse to the agency,” she said
The Official said the agency was disturbed by the influx of new drugs like Fentanyl into Nigerian market, stressing that fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to Morphine, Heroin and Codeine and 50 to 100 times more potent.
Bassey added that the command had a robust relationship with other securuty agencies in the state and would continue to in the year ahead to enhance its performance.
On her projection for 2023, the NDLEA commander said the command’s mandate remains to dismantle drug cartels in the state, prosecute offenders and intercept the deadly illicit substances from being consumed in the society.
She emphasised continued sensitisation of the public on what drug is, drug abuse and misused as the 2023 elections draws near.
The commander warned drug peddlers and dealers in the state to give up their illicit business or face the full wrath of the law.
She commended Akwa Ibom State Government for their support and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for ensuring the completion parameters fencing of the command office.