The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Edo State Command, says it arrested 374 suspected drug traffickers for illicit drugs peddling between June 2021 till date.
Disclosing this on Monday in Benin, at the grand finale of the 2022 UN Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, the State Commander of the agency, Mr Buba Wakawa, said the figure comprised 281 males and 93 females.
He also disclosed that the Command within the period, seized 26,960.593 kilo grammes of suspected psychotropic substances.
He explained that cannabis sativa constituted the bulk of the seizure, adding that 48 suspected cannabis sativa farms with cumulative measurement of 63.8 hectares were also destroyed.
The Commander further said the Command also successfully counseled and rehabilitated 257 drug-dependent clients and reunited them with their families.
“We also secured 58 convictions within the period, while 76 cases are still pending in court”, he said.
Wakawa said the theme for the year “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crisis”, was apt.
“From this year’s theme, it is obvious to decipher the damaging consequences of drug, and drug-related abuse and trafficking in illicit substances in families, society and the world at large.
“There is no gain saying the fact, as witnessed in human crises in the world today, that it is a result of drug use and trafficking.
“It is from this year’s theme’s background that I stand tall and bold to spread the gospel to you to collectively push for the sensitisation, awareness creation, and campaign to dissuade our teeming youths from reckless use of substances of abuse”, he said.
He stated that the audacity of youths and other criminal-minded elements to perpetrate their unwholesome evil on the society after taking substances of abuse, could not be underestimated.
“The story of their escapedes abound everywhere in this country and in the world.
“The NDLEA, as an institution, has a mandate to curb drug abuse and illicit trafficking in the land.
“So, with this mandate as our weapon, we can truly beat our chest as we have and still making incursions and huge progress in addressing the multi-faceted drug problems.
“This is in a bid to visibly checkmate the trend and bring drug use and crime to its knees,” the Commander stated.
Earlier, the Chairman, Edo State Drug Control Committee (EDCSS), Prof. Obehi Akoria, said the 2022 theme was informed by the need to look at the drug problem through the lens of public health.
Akoria, represented by the Secretary of the Committee, Mrs Edith Sede, said this was with a view to tackling it as a broader social problem, rather than through the conventional, narrow, criminal matter approach .
She noted that drug trafficking was an international illegal trade that involved the production, cultivation, dissemination and sale of prohibited substances.
According to her, drug and substance abuse had become a major public health challenge confronting youths and the entire world.
“The menace of this social vice is far reaching and millions are being dragged into the black hole, unknown to them.
“This is aside the obvious damage it had done to thousands of families in our immediate society”, she noted.
Similarly, the Edo State Government says it is ready to partner with stakeholders to check the menace of drug abuse, to have a drug free State.
Acting Governor of the State, Phillip Shaibu, represented by Mrs Otaniyenwa Obarisiagbon, Executive Secretary, Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said this in his goodwill message at the event.
Shun Cultism, Naval College Urges Graduating Students
The Commandant of the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Akpabuyo, Cross River State, Commander Felicity Uchime, has charged graduating students of the school to shun cultism, examination malpractice and other vices.
Uchime, who gave the charge last Saturday during the graduation ceremony of 195 students of the 2021/2022 set, urged the students to see their graduation from the school as a ladder to climb to higher grounds.
She said the graduation signified the hard work, determination and resilience of the students.
“As you graduate today, I want to advise you all to stay away from cultism, examination malpractice and vices.
“The Nigerian Navy School has imbibed sound character and discipline in all of you, hence we expect you to be worthy ambassadors of this great school, “ she said.
She said the school was poised for academic excellence and quality education, adding that the school has imbibed sound character and discipline in the students.
“Your parents have dedicated financial resources to see you through school; you must not disappoint their trust in you,” she said.
I want to wish all of you the best in your future endeavours,” she said.
Speaking, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu, congratulated the students for the successful completion of their secondary school education.
Dewu, who was represented by Capt. Dauda Isa, said that their graduation reflected the training and quality of education the students had received in the last six years.
“With the quality of teaching we have in this school, I have no doubt that you all have the requisite credentials to excel in your future endeavours.
“We are going to do our best to upgrade the facilities in this school with a view to meeting the expectations ofstudents and parents,” he said.
The Tide’s source reports that Master Divine Akpan was awarded the best performing student of the school in the just released released by the West African Examinations Council.
The school also presented other certificates and awards to deserving graduating students.
First Female Immigration Boss In A’Ibom Assumes Duty
Mrs Francisca Dakat has assumed duty as the 21st Comptroller, Immigration Service (CIS) and the first female Comptroller in Akwa Ibom Command.
Dakat, whose last posting was Rivers Marine Command, is taking over from Comptroller George Didel, who has been redeployed to Migration Directorate, Service Headquarters, Abuja.
Speaking with The Tide’s source during the exchange of baton in Uyo last Friday, Dakat said she would build on the achievements of her predecessor.
“The outgoing Comptroller has done so well and I intend to consolidate on those achievements, and if God helps us, we will do more.
“We always want to be better than our teachers. So, whatever we can do to make the command better, we will do it,” Dakat said.
Dakat, who was appointed into the Service in 1990, charged personnel of the Command to remain committed to duty and be disciplined, to move the service forward.
In his farewell message, the outgoing CIS, Didel, urged the personnel to remain loyal and committed to the service.
“I want to tell my staff that they must continue to be loyal to the country. They must be hard working and must be disciplined, especially in the performance of their duties.
“As public servants, we must continue to serve the public. So, I will leave them with that message, to be patriotic and be committed to their duties,” Didel said.
IPMAN Threatens Depot Shutdown Over Police Harassment
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), South East Zone, has threatened to shut down depots in Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu over incessant police harassment of its leaders.
Cross River State Chairman, IPMAN, Mr Robert Obi, made the threat last Friday in Calabar while speaking with newsmen.
Obi said the association decided to close all the depots and stations after a series of meetings with some stakeholders over police harassment of its leaders.
He alleged that there were moves by the Police Legal Unit at the Force Headquarters in Abuja to arrest its executives across the zone and possibly install a factional leadership.
He said that any arrest of its leaders in the zone would create more crisis in the association in spite of various court pronouncements laying the matter to rest.
Obi said the Attorney-General of the Federation, in a letter which was copied to Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo and his faction, who lost out at the Supreme Court, had acknowledged Alhaji Sanusi Fari as the authentic National President of IPMAN.
Obi frowned at the alleged moves by the police authorities and some, he described as “disgruntled elements”, to either misinterpret the Supreme Court ruling or subvert the will of the people.
He said their aim was to impose their cronies on the association even when the facts of the matter were very clear.
“Despite the legal advice, the police are putting all arsenals to arrest the current executives of IPMAN in Nigeria, particularly in Calabar NNPC depot and hand the leadership of the association to the people of their choice.
“IPMAN warns that further step shouldn’t be taken by the police to interfere with the current leadership of the association. We will shut down the distribution channels of petroleum and allied products in Nigeria pending when the police do the right thing.
“IPMAN leadership has resolved to continue with their rights in the constitution and abide by the extant laws and subsisting judgments of the courts in its favour,” he said.
The Tide learnt that the zone has been embroiled in leadership crisis which led to various court cases.
The South East Zone of IPMAN, comprises Enugu, Aba, Rivers, Cross River and Benue State with more than 40 depots and 1,000 petrol stations with about 2,000 members.
The zone has been having a running battle with officers of the Nigeria Police over alleged attempt by the police to force a factional leadership on the association.
Meanwhile, Force Headquarters spokesman, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said he was not aware of the matter.
Earlier, the Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Police had said it was not in position to react to the allegation.
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