THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a total number of 166 suspects who deal in drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Kwara State in the last 12 months.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Friday on 2017 United Nations International day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking, the state commander of the agency, Mr. Ona Ogilegwu, said that the command also seized 4,771.65 kilograms of illicit drugs in the process.
This is just as the command has declared a female drug baron in Omu Aran in the Irepodun local government area of the state wanted for escaping arrest three weeks ago.
The NDLEA commander, who said that 60 kilograms of Indian hemp was recovered from the drug baroness when the men of the agency invaded her premises in the night, added that there was an upsurge in involvement of females in drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the state.
He said that 10 suspects were convicted for drug related offences at the Federal High Court, Ilorin adding that over 60 cases were pending in court.
Mr. Ogilegwu said that 40 drug dependent persons were rehabilitated and reunited with their families, adding that 112 people who used drugs were counselled.
He also said that marijuana remained the drug mostly abused by youth and adults in the state, adding that new psychoactive drugs with equally dangerous consequences were commonly abused by both males and females. For example, amphetamine, tramadol, and codeine containing cough syrup are mostly abused by students.
The NDLEA boss, who said that drug situation had become challenging in the state, added that women had joined in the drug trade with 14 arrested female suspects and 152 male suspects.
He said that reasons for involvement of female in drug abuse included lack of job, greed, frustration, lack of money, poverty, adding that some people who use drugs did not have any motive.
Mr. Ogilegwu also called for collaboration of members of the public, saying that there is connection between drug and crime prevalence in every community, just as he said that insurgency had continued because of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
He said that partnership of the agency with the state drug abuse control committee had yielded results, adding that the agency intended to sustain the collaboration for betterment of the people.