Temitope Felix, Abuja
DAILY COURIER – The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized 1.5 tonnes of illicit drugs and arrested 993 suspects in Katsina State, from November 10, 2021 to November 23, 2022.
The NDLEA Commander in the state, Mohammed Bashir, made this known while briefing newsmen on the activities of the command within the period under review.
“I took over the command on Nov. 10 as the 16h state commander. After an overview of the drug situation in the state, looking at the arrests and seizures, age and gender, we decided to tackle the situation in the state using an evidence-based approach in terms of substance use and intensify our raid operations, patrol and surveillance.
“This approach has yielded positive results with 993 arrests. They comprised 977 males and 16 females.
“The total drugs seized within the period is 1,555,446kgs. This is made up of 1,473.795kgs of cannabis Sativa, 81.651,39kgs of psychotropic substances and 92.95 litres of cough syrup with codeine”, he said, adding that 93 percent of the suspects arrested are between 16 and 40 years.
Bashir said the drug demand reduction unit of the command was able to counsel and rehabilitate 76 people.
“Four of the people who had Substance Use Disorders (SUD), are from Niger republic.
“Close to 800 persons have undergone brief intervention at the centre. It is sad that 95 percent fall between the age bracket of 16 and 40.
“The command has enjoyed the support of Gov. Aminu Masari. Recently, the governor sponsored the counselling and rehabilitation of 45 SUDs in our centre.
“Those SUDs were able to learn vocational skills like leather work, carpentry and Information Technology (IT). They have since been integrated with their families.
“We hope that the governor will continue with the intervention by releasing funds for the next phase, which is supposed to last for one year.
“The wife of the governor, Dr Hadiza Masari, has been a partner in progress, her NGO has supported the command’s activities especially when it comes to women and children’s programmes”, he said.