NEDU MARK, Yenagoa
National Dug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Bayelsa state has arrested a total of 70 persons for trafficking in different illicit drugs in the state.
The command said the 70 drug suspects were apprehended in the last six months, between January and June this year in the state.
NDLEA said that nine of the suspects were women, while the other 61 were males who peddled drugs ranging from cocaine, heroin, cannabis and other psychotropic substances.
Briefing newsmen in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital on the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, state Commander, NDLEA, Barrister Josephine Ruth Obi described the state as having a high consumption rate of illicit drugs.
She said the 2015 Day comes up on June 26 and has as its Theme, “Let’s develop our lives, our communities, our identities without drugs.”
The commander said, consumption rate is alarming in Bayelsa state especially because the state is neither a producer nor a transit state.
Hear her: “The rate of consumption of illicit drugs in the state is alarming, considering that all the drugs found in the state are for consumption since this is neither a producer nor transit state.”
According to Barrister Obi, 18 suspects have been convicted from the month of January to March, 2015, noting that in the next one week, over 70 suspects would be convicted if found guilty.
According to her, nine suspects were arrested in the month of January, 21 in February, four in March and seven others in April.
24 suspects were nabbed in May and seven in June. While over 55.6 grammes of cocaine were seized, 4.3 grammies of Heroin and 97.233.5 kilograms of cannabis and 1.463.2 kilograms of other psychotropic substances were recovered from the suspects.
On military personnel peddling drugs in the state, Ruth Obi said, no soldier or paramilitary personnel has the permission of his or her command to traffick illicit drugs, noting that the NDLEA was only arresting suspects no matter how highly the person is place in the society.
“NDLEA is working according to the law and we are only arresting suspects,” she stressed.
As a way of reducing the circulation of illicit drugs in the state, the commander said the agency is embarking on counseling, creating public awareness of the dangers of hard drugs and organizing lectures in localities and schools.
“We are also organizing Essay and quiz competitions for schools, rallies and mass enlightenment lectures across the state and local government areas.”