The Kogi Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Thursday said it seized 56,223.824 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa between 2020 and September 2021.
The State Commander of the Agency, Mr Alfred Adewumi ,said this at the launch of the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) and the decoration of newly promoted officers in Lokoja.
Adewumi noted that the 56,223.824kg of the seizure excluded cannabis sativa and other illicit-drug mop ups carried out through the agency’s inland operations.
The Commander said that the geographical location of Kogi sharing borders with Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Delta states known to be heavy cannabis sativa cultivating domains predisposed it to trafficking and abuse of the drug.
He said that the position of Kogi was further compounded by the combination of unlawful but thriving drug business at the Ogbogwu Market in Onitsha and the possible existence of clandestine laboratories for the production of Methamphetamine in both Anambra and Delta states.
He said that their proximity to Kogi as well as the easy access to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, further placed the same at high risk for illicit drug business.
“The discovery of over 26 hectares of cannabis sativa plantations in the Eastern part of the state in 2020 and another 20 acres this year in the same axis are indicative of domestic cultivation of the drugs.
On the launching of War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), Adewumi explained that it was a call for civil action for all Nigerians to take active part in combating drug abuse and its circulation in the country.
He noted that the launch of WADA by President Muhamadu Buhari on June 26, was followed by a directive from the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd), for its replication at state and local government levels.
The Commander noted that 18 officers of the command who merited elevation had been promoted having distinguished themselves.
In his goodwill message, the Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Mr Idrisu Dauda, admonished the newly decorated officers to increase their performances.
He added that success used to have many friends while failure would always remain an orphan.
He described the NDLEA as a silent achiever stressing that the present insecurity in the country could be traced to illicit drugs in the society and promised to collaborate with the agency to combat crimes and criminality in Kogi.
On his part, Abdullahi Mbaya, the Controller, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) in Kogi, called on the newly decorated officers to see their new ranks beyond increments in salary but a call to duty for more commitment.
Commodore Jerry Omodara (rtd), Sthe tate Security Adviser, commended the NDLEA for synegizing with security agencies in the fight against illicit drugs in Kogi.
“What NDLEA did in one year under the present Commander in Kogi State is commendable.
“We recorded a series of arrest and discovered large cultivation of cannabis sativa in Ofu, Igalamela in Idah Local Government.
“If this hard drugs had gained entrance into the society, it would gave worsened the security situation. We are aware that some of the drug peddlers have changed tactics,” Omodara said. (NAN)