By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The proliferation and trafficking of hard drugs is largely responsible for the escalation of criminality in Nigeria today, Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo has said.
Ekpo made the observation when the new State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mrs Obot Bassey, paid him a courtesy call in Government House in Uyo on Thursday.
The Akwa Ibom Government has tasked the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
He urged the new Commander to take appropriate steps to mop up drug from the system to curb security challenges confronting the nation.
Obong Ekpo also urged the Agency to identify and arrest drug pushers for immediate prosecution to ensure peace in the society.
“Most of the vices in our society such as the dare devil kidnapping, armed robbery and armed herdsmen are fuelled by the abuse of hard drugs and illicit substances, and therefore required extra-ordinary measures and strategies to contain,” Ekpo said.
The deputy governor commended the new Commander for her achievements in NDLEA as well as her international engagements which has distinguished her as a committed patriot.
Ekpo pledged the cooperation of the state government towards the success of her tenure as well as the operations of NDLEA in Akwa Ibom.
Earlier, the new state commander, Bassey said that she was fully committed to making the state a drug free zone.
Bassey called for an effective partnership and collaboration with the state government through the setting up of committee on Drugs Prevention and Control.
The state commander, said that the state government has a collaborative role to play in ensuring that the state was drug free.
She disclosed that the state was ravaged by severe drug problems, especially cannabis, cocaine as well as other psychotropic drugs and substances.
The state commander said that the Command would soon carry out what the command called, “Operation Burn the Weeds” to mop up drug from the system, stressing that about two million exhibits were currently with the command.
Bassey appealed to the state government to assist the command with logistics, such as motorised boats to cover rural riverine areas of the state.