The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it has launched a nationwide raid of drug joints in an exercise code-named ‘Operation Mop Up’ as part of law enforcement efforts to remove enablers of crime and violence in the form of illicit substances and those who deal in them. This, the agency said, is with a view to ensuring peaceful inauguration of new administrations at national and sub-national levels across the country on May 29.

In a statement signed by Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy, the agency said not less than 534 suspects have been arrested in the first few days of the commencement of the operation. In the process, tons of illicit drugs including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, tramadol, codeine-based syrup, cannabis sativa and various new psychoactive substances, among others, were recovered across the states and the FCT.

Babafemi noted that top on the list with high arrests and seizures are Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Kaduna, Rivers, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Osun, Benue and Plateau.

He said the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, (Retd.), who ordered the operation commended all the officers and men of the state commands and other formations involved in the exercise for their professionalism and following the NDLEA standard operating procedure.

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“I’m impressed by the level of compliance with the directive to all our commands and formations to dismantle all drug joints within their areas of responsibility, mop up all illicit substances in such locations and arrest all those culpable,” Babafemi quoted Marwa as saying.

“This will in no small measure take out of the equation enablers of crime and violence such as illicit drugs, their dealers and all those relying on mind-altering substances to disrupt the May 29 inauguration ceremonies across the states and the Federal Capital Territory.”

The statement said Marwa charged the operatives to continue with the operational maxim of ‘offensive action’ against drug cartels and traffickers until the last gram of illicit drug is taken out of the streets and communities across the country.