From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina
The Katsina State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has disclosed that in the last three months, it has arrested 118 drug offenders who include illicit drug dealers and drug addicts.
Briefing newsmen yesterday at the NDLEA office in Katsina, the State Commandant, Maryam Gambo said 104 of the suspects were male while four were female.
She disclosed that among the suspected drug addicts were eleven students of secondary and tertiary institutions, three of whom are under-aged.
Hajiya Maryam Gambo explained that during the period under review, 53 kilograms of cannabis and 48 kilograms of other psychrophic substances were seized from the suspects.
She also displayed 497 bottles worth 49 litres of cough syrup with codeine seized from the suspects who include under-aged aecondary school students.
The commandant urged parents to keep an eye on their children and be observant of the friends they hand out with, to keep them away from bad company.
She noted that during the period, seven drug-dependent children were brought to the agency by their parents and guardians for rehabilitation and counseling, while 90 other suspects were also referred to a unit of the agency for counselling.
The commandant decried delays in the conviction of drug offenders which has given rise to the ever-increasing number of drug offenders in the state.
She said out of 97 cases at the Federal High Court, the agency has only been able to secure 7 convictions in three months while 90 of the cases were still pending at the courts.
Hajiya Gambo regretted what she described as the “alarming rate of illicit drug consumption in the northern part of the country” and urged government to tighten security on the country’s land borders against the smuggling of illicit drugs.