The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Command in Kano state says the state has recorded increase in drug abuse during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The state NDLEA Commander Dr Ibrahim Abdul said this on Thursday in Kano, while addressing a news conference on the commemoration of 2020 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
According to him, within the lockdown period, the command intercepted 7.8 73.937 kilograms of hard drug.
Abdul added that, though the COVID-19 pandemic impeded the operations of the command, over 1.2 tonnes of various hard drugs were seized in May.
He said the NDLEA also seized 4,374.629 kilograms of Cannabis Savita, 699.213 kilograms of psychotropic substance, 87 kilograms of cocaine and eight kilograms of heroin.
Abdul explained that, within the lockdown period, the command seized a vehicle loaded with compressed dried weed suspected to be Cannabis Sativa weighing 283 kilograms in Wudil, on transit to Bauchi State.
“A very concerted sting operation was also conducted along Kano-Zaria Road, where a Toyota Sequadia jeep was intercepted, and two suspects were arrested with 300 blocks of compressed Cannabis Savita weighing 223 kilograms.
“Worthy to note is a fact that a syndicate of barons dealing in cocaine was uncovered by our team, where male and female suspects were apprehended with cocaine weighing 100 grams.
According to Abdul, from June 2019 to date, the agency arrested 565 suspects, out of which 16 were females in Kano.
“We have so far secured the conviction of 85 suspects, while six cases are still pending before the Federal High Court in Kano.
“During the period under review, 34 regular clients were counseled and rehabilitated, while 723 suspects were referred for brief intervention,” Abdul said.
The NDLEA boss identified lack of adequate manpower, shortage of logistics, inadequate facilities to accommodate addicts that required counseling and rehabilitation as some of the challenges facing the agency in the state.
Other challenges he mentioned included, inadequate community participation in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking.
“Addressing the above logistics and financial problems will go a long way in enhancing the fight against drug abuse and trafficking,” he said.
While commending the State Government, traditional leaders, other sister agencies, media and stakeholders, Abdul called on the public to continue to give the agency necessary support.