National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kwara state command, has said that none of the eight commands of the agency in the state had operational vehicle.
However, the Command said it had arrested a total of 74 suspects with 391.26 kilogrammes of hard drugs between January and July 2016.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin yesterday, the state commander of the agency, Mr. Apeh Reuben, called for stronger collaboration of government, private organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the agency to rid the state of activities of illicit drug users.
He said out of the total of 74 suspects that were arrested, 62 were males, while 12 were females.
The NDLEA boss, who said 14 people had been convicted by the state High Court, Ilorin, on offences involving possession and smoking of hard drugs, added that their sentences ranged from 12 months to eight years in prison.
He also said five suspected drug users were arrested in an uncompleted building around Baboko area of Ilorin metropolis on August 4, 2016, “with functionally sophisticated locally made pistols ready for operation.”
He said: “The drug situation in the state has turned to different dimension because they are very expensive. The addicts no longer afford the drug at their reach as usual. Therefore, they engage in pilfering and armed robbery in order to meet up with the cost of maintaining their habit.
“This of course reveals that all drug users or consumers are potential armed robbers. Their inability to afford the cost of drug could make them armed robbers.”
While lamenting the high rate of hard drug users in the state, Reuben said most of the arrested persons were smokers between ages of 19 and 50 years.
The commander added that many of them were counselled and 30 among them were rehabilitated and released to their family.
He also charged parents to be more responsible in order to bring up their children, adding that they should know the companies their children keep.