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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Ondo NDLEA nabs 220 suspects, seizes 9 tonnes of drugs

By Tola Gbadamosi

No fewer than 220 suspects with nine tonnes of assorted illicit drugs including cocaine, heroine, cannabis sativa, monkey tail, skushi and other deadly substances have been arrested by the Ondo state Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

NDLEA State Commander, Mr Kayode Mumuni made this known in an interview with The Hope in Akure, yesterday.

According to him, the seizure occurred between January and August, 2022..

He added that the 220 suspects were arrested at various locations, while over 54 of them have been prosecuted.

The Commander further revealed that 68 were counseled and released after discovering their level of involvement in cultivation, while 15 were rehabilitated.

His words: “”These include those brought by their parents or guardians for rehabilitation and we have a center here where the rehabilitation is being done, we also have a consultant psychiatric from the Federal Medical Center that comes from time to time.

“We are not really happy arresting people. What we want is for us to eliminate drugs and we feel that we can eliminate it without necessarily arresting people and that is why we focus more on sensitization, awareness and enlightenment campaigns which aimed at discouraging the use of drugs.

“If a suspect is arrested, they are not necessarily taken for rehabilitation. What we do is to investigate and when we see that they are culpable, we will prosecute them in court. Quite a lot have been prosecuted and convicted. We have over 54 of them convicted between January and August, 2022.

“Ordinarily, a Psychiatric doctor ought to be resident here but because of lack of funds, we could not afford to have one. So what we do is to partner Federal Medical Center,” he explained.

He appealed to politicians in the state to ensure that their followers steer clear of drugs and drug abuse as campaigns into the 2023 general elections commenced.

“In other states and other places I have been opportuned to work, most politicians, directly or indirectly encouraged the use of drug by their followers. So, I just want to appeal to those in Ondo state, to set up an example to all the political leaders in the country to ensure that their followers steer clear of drugs and drug abuse because If they don’t, the consequences on the residents will be calamitous.

“It will be practically difficult for us to go to campaign grounds to arrest them, if we do that, it will be taken that maybe their opponent are the one sponsoring us, so, we don’t want to be caught in the political web, but what we want to assure everybody is that whosoever that is caught indulging in any act of drug abuse or use will not be spared, irrespective of party he comes from.

“We’ve been to various institutions, we’ve visited secondary schools and have gone to Churches and Mosques to spread this awareness that drugs only brings destruction, it doesn’t do the body or the community any good and we make sure that we reduce the inflow or outflow of drugs to the barest minimum in the state.

“My comments will always be as usual, parents should know what their children are doing, they should monitor their children, whether they are in school or at home.

“Their businesses, their trades, their official assignments should not be more important than the welfare of their children. There are ways to balance both, if you place your job above the welfare of your children, it means you are placing the present above your future and whatever we do today, it is for tomorrow.

“Parents should endeavour to know where their children go, know who their friends are, when they bring anything home, they should know where they get it from, when they notice any strange things in their behaviour or characters, the way they eat, sleep or talk, they should immediately alert us to let us know because when a child is taking drugs, he may be eating less and when he wants to eat, he can eat a whole food meant for 10 people including water too.

“Under drug influence, they can drink 20 sachets of water, they don’t sleep on time and they wake up very early in the morning, they go out very early in the morning, around 5am or 6am to go and take it. So, I appeal to parents to note all these strange and weird behaviours and alert NDLEA.

“We are not going to arrest the children as I have earlier said. We are going to counsel and rehabilitate them and at no cost, except the cost of feeding them. It’s just like eating at home. The success of our children depends on the parents’ attitude towards their behaviours”, he added.

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