The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has commended the State’s Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for the arrest of 16 suspected drug traffickers and users, seizure of several kilograms of narcotics, including cannabis and tramadol.
Obaseki, who spoke at the Command’s Headquarters in Benin City, urged youths to channel their energies to useful and productive ventures rather than take to drugs, which have a negative impact on their lives.
The governor was represented by the Commissioner for Public Security and Safety, Kingsley Uwagbale, as the Command paraded the 16 suspects arrested and seized exhibits during the mop-up exercise by the force held between September 13 and 19.
He said, “This is not a joyous situation as all these drug suspects are youths and it’s painful to see them in such situations. This event is not exciting at all.
“I want to commend the State Command of the NDLEA for these arrests and the success of this operation, which is in tandem with our administration’s policy to make the state drug-free.
“We encourage the Command to do more because the impact of drugs in the society, state, and nation at large, is overwhelming and destructive to the youths and society. Coming into this premises and seeing that these drug suspects are youths, I began to wonder how they got themselves involved in such nefarious activities.
“For me, it’s sad and I am not happy with this development. I urge Nigerian and Edo youths to flee from drugs, as it will not do them any good but destroy their lives.”
The Governor added, “I hope beyond the criminality, we can do a bit more for our youths and hope they do not go this way, as drugs are destructive. I encourage you to do more and help clean up the streets as the Edo State Government will give you all the support that you need and ensure you continue to succeed in cleaning the State.”
Disclosing details of the raid, the Deputy Commander of NDLEA, Edo State Command, Olusegun Ejiko, said the agency paraded 16 drug suspects arrested, alongside some of the seizures during the mop -up raids on some blacks spots across the various zones of the Command.
He said, “We have carried out raids in black spots across the state as the operation lasted from the 13th to the 19th of this month. During the raid, we went to Ihama, Country Home Road, Oba Market, Amagba, Okhabere, and Siluko Road, all across the Benin metropolis.
“Our national mandate is to cut off supply and trafficking of drugs, while the state mandate is to mop all drug joints and black spots. Three days ago (16th September 2023) a black Toyota Camry car with registration number Lagos KTU 886 EZ was arrested by the Igarra Command of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and loaded with cannabis sativa going for supply.”
The Deputy Commander continued, “In conjunction with the mandate of Governor Godwin Obaseki to make the state drug and crime-free, the NDLEA is collaborating with the state to mop -up and ensure the state is free from crime. The mop-up will continue in the state as we will focus on black spots across the state.
“Several drugs have been seized from suspects who have turned the state into a marketplace for selling and taking drugs. No hiding place for drug barons in the state as sellers, and users of these illicit drugs will be smoked out from their hiding places and we will ensure the state is free from drugs as it’s related to crime.
“Most of these suspects have been arrested from our Okada, Igarra, and Irrua Area Commands. Sixteen suspects were arrested and they are both the sellers and users of the drugs. 264kg of cannabis sativa, 0.356KG of 100mg of tramadol, 0.03kg of 225mg of tramadol, diazepam 0.003KG, CSP Codeine cough syrup, among several other hard drugs.
He added, “These drugs would have done more damage to the health of Edo State citizens if these narcotics were allowed to be in circulation within the period of arrest. The economic and security effect of drugs would have been alarming if not for the success of this operation.”