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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested 149 suspects with over 1.49 tonnes of illicit drugs between January 1 and June 24 in Kogi State.

The NDLEA Commander in the state, Umar Yahuza, made this known in Lokoja at a news conference heralding a week-long United Nations Day against drug Abuse and trafficking in the state.

Yahuza, who said the program was organized by the agency, in collaboration with Kogi Government, said 29 out of the 149 suspects arrested had been convicted, while cases against others were still pending at Federal High Court, Lokoja.

“The drug menace in Kogi and Nigeria is so disturbing and demands urgent action to arrest it before it destroys our youths and future leaders.

“This is because the ugly situation has serious implications on security, economics and the general well-being of the citizens.

“We have made a series of arrests and seizures of assorted drugs such as codeine, Methamphetamine, Diazepam, tramadol, Cannabis sativa, and Pentazocine among others.

“In fact, statistics and empirical facts from the agency’s operations indicated clearly that the drug problem is mutating into a colossal social problem.

“It has become an issue linked beyond doubt to the escalation of insecurity and its attendant effects on peace and economy across the country, ” he said.

The commander attributed the effects of armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry, rape and other violent crimes against humanity in the country to the use of illicit drugs.

He said that illicit drugs were mostly the catalyst for these vices, adding: “Anywhere there is drug, there is crime and vice versa.”
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