The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Bayelsa State Command, says its operatives have arrested 70 suspects for trafficking different illegal drugs in the state.
The command said the 70 drug suspects were apprehended between January and June, 2015.
Addressing journalists at the agency’s state command in Yenagoa, State Commander, NDLEA, Mrs. Josephine Obi, said of the 70 suspects, nine were females.
She said they were caught in dealing and trafficking of illicit drugs ranging from Cocaine, Cannabis Sativa and other psychotropic substances.
The commander said consumption rate of the illicit drugs was alarming in Bayelsa, stressing that the development was due to the fact that the state is “neither a producing nor a transit state.”
She lamented, “The rate of consumption of illicit drugs in the state is alarming. This is because all the drugs found in the state are for consumption since Bayelsa is neither a producer nor transit state.”
She said the agency had obtained a total of 18 convictions from the month of January to March, 2015, noting that other suspects were still being prosecuted in court.
Giving the breakdown of the arrest, Obi said nine suspects were nabbed in January, 21 in February, four in March and seven in April.
She added that 24 suspects were apprehended in May while seven had been arrested in the month June.
She stressed that, “While over 55.6 grammes of cocaine were seized, 4.3 grammes of heroin, 97.233 kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa and 1.463.2 kilograms of psychotropic substances were recovered from suspects.”
Reacting to the arrest of military personnel recently, the commander said the same law applied to the military, paramilitary and civilians.
Obi reiterated that no soldier or any paramilitary personnel had the permission of his or her command to traffic illicit drugs, noting that NDLEA was only arresting suspects no matter their positions in the society.
Obi said as part of the measures to mark United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the agency would carry out a lot of sensitisation and awareness programmes to highlight the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking.
She said the 2015 celebration comes up on June 26 and the theme of event is, ‘Let’s Develop our Lives, our Communities, our Identities without Drugs. ‘
She said, “NDLEA is working according to the law and we are only arresting suspects.
“As a way of reducing the circulation of illicit drugs in the state, we are embarking on counselling of would-be suspects, creating public awareness on dangers of hard drugs, organising lectures in localities and schools.
“We are also organising essay and quiz competitions for schools, rallies and mass enlightenment lectures across the state local government areas.”