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Delta NDLEA Boss Laments Neglect By FG, State Government

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Delta State Command, decried the absence of both Federal and Delta State government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa respectively.

Speaking with leaders and members of the Indigenous Correspondents’ Chapel (ICC), of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council Tuesday at the headquarter, Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South council area, the state Commander, Mr Dennis Obiefule, lamented that while other federal government agency operates in the state capital, NDLEA has not been able to get a befitting accommodation.

The state Commander also bemoaned that the budgetary provisions to the agency from the federal government has not been fully released while letters written to the Delt State government on the high rate of hard drug usage by Deltans and for assistance have not been responded to.

He said the agency also lacks operational vehicles which has hampered its activities in ensuring that the high rate of drug demand was reduced to the barest minimum, revealing that the command has only two vehicles which transverses the five area commands which include Warri, Seaport (also in Warri), Sapele, Kwale and Ubiarokwu.

“We have only two vehicles and we seize vehicles we are not allowed to use yet we don’t have vehicles”.

According to him, the present office accommodation has also hindered the agency from carrying out its functions to the fullest as some persons arrested with either drugs or drug dealers were referred to other states like Bauchi for counsel as there is no enough space for them to do their constitutional duties.

He also admitted that paucity of funds has constantly limited the agency from engaging in public enlightenment campaign against drugs abuse and create the needed awareness among relevant stakeholders, stating that the Command also lacks facilities to carry out its duties, “we have problem with manpower and logistics”.

He also lamented that though the state government has since set up the State Drug Control Committee headed by the State Commissioner of Health, Dr Nicholas Azinge, the agency is yet to leverage on that to boost its activities and enlightenment in the state.

“There is no way you can fight insecurity without addressing the issues of illicit drugs. Delta State is notorious in the cultivation of illicit drugs. It is a major issue in the state and the worst is that the people don’t seem to appreciate the dangerous effect of drugs. It is not all about money, think of the future of your generation and that of the nation.

“Drugs problem is not for an individual alone, it a societal challenge. When you enter a motor park you will notice that we are not safe and we cannot keep quiet. Today, there is hardly a night life because of crime. The few individuals into illicit drugs in Delta is given the state a bad name. For long time now Delta State has been notorious and some of the dealers have vowed not to stop”.

He also lamented that the Command has not been able to carry out its “exhibit destruction”, “but no money”, he said.

He revealed that some politicians in the state uses the dealers during election hence the state government has not put enough effort in curbing the crime in the state, “because they use them for politics”, even as he noted that he has not gotten enough collaboration from the police especially those on the high way, “the present Commissioner of Police, we are working well but the problem is those that are on the road, there is a problem there because with their presence the drug problem would have gone down”.

It is an eyesore as one of the federal government dreaded agency is presently occupying the dilapidated and defunct Socio Democratic Party (SDP) building in Delta, “NDLEA is not funded, it is a matter that the government should be involved”.

Meanwhile, The Commander revealed that from January to November this year, the agency has arrested no fewer than 200 male and 50 female suspects with 6,844 cannabis (‘Igbo’), arrested a boy who concealed 2kg of Cocaine in a cartons of Indomie from Lagos state to Aba in Abia State, and intercepted a truck carrying 243 bags of India Helm weighing 2.7 tones, 2.09 kg of cocaine, 22.2 gm of heroine were ceased while it secured 19 convictions, destroyed 4.2 hectares of cannabis farm, 1.0 hectares of cannabis within the period in Ndokwa West where 4.24 hectares with another 13 hectares at same area were destroyed.

He also noted that in such raids in collaboration with the military, illicit monies made by the cultivators including N113, 000 were also seized from them, lamenting that two of their personnel died in Abe, in the course of doing their duties.