Drug trafficking/substance abuse: Prosecuting clampdown by collective responsibilities



The network of drug trafficking have not ceased to expand its tentacles. It has grown to become Nigeria’s most gripping transnational organised crime growing in billions of dollars. On Sunday, 21st, August, 2022, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), again disclosed that it intercepted over 2.3million tablets of illicit pharmaceutical opioids and other psychoactive substances meant for distribution in seven Northern states. NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, in a statement, mentioned the states were Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe and Nasarawa.

According to the statement, a total of 2,325,553.00 tablets and capsules of Tramadol, Pregabalin, Hypnox, Diazepam and Exol-5 were seized in all. This, included 7,353 bottles of a new psychoactive substance locally called ‘Akuskura’ meant for the seven states  that were seized from locations across Kaduna, Kogi, Sokoto, and the FCT.

Furthermore,  the statement disclosed that in Kaduna, a drug dealer, Umar Sanusi, was arrested on August 12, 2022, during a follow-up operation in Kano. “He was brought back to Kaduna where his consignment of 50 cartons of pregabalin 300mg, containing 750,000 capsules, weighing 375kgs earlier seized along Abuja-Kaduna expressway was counted and weighed in his presence. Same day, operatives also intercepted along Abuja-Kaduna express road 7,068 bottles of a new dangerous substance of abuse called ‘Akuskura’ meant for Kaduna, Zamfara, Gombe, Kano and Borno. The recipients in Kaduna and Zamfara had been arrested during follow-up operations” the statement read partly.

It was also disclosed in the statement  that on August 13, 2022, 285 bottles of ‘NPS’ were recovered from a dealer, Abubakar Ahmad, in Kaduna State. It mentioned that no fewer than 696,000 tablets of Tramadol and Exol-5 among others, were also seized. They were loaded into a truck at Onitsha, Anambra State and heading to Maiduguri, Borno State, only to be seized along Okene-Abuja expressway on Friday, 19th, 2022. Also, NDLEA operatives had also recovered 300,000 tablets of Diazepam from a suspect, Faruku Bello, 30, in Sokoto State on Wednesday, 17th August, 2022.

“Anti-narcotic officers of the agency in Abuja, FCT, equally at the weekend intercepted a bus loaded with 323, 200 tablets of Tramadol 225mg and others at Onitsha, Anambra State, heading to Nasarawa State. Driver of the vehicle, Osita Nwobodo, 45, who made fruitless bids to compromise the operatives is now in custody,” the statement read.

No doubt, the fight against the misadventure of drug trafficking and the delinquency of drug abuse must be overarching and systemic as the strings have grown to establish a stronghold in the Country. Only concerted efforts can exterminate the outstretched strings of the network. It is apparent that mere clampdown with the use of force to arrest suspects and make seizures have not yielded the desiratum, hence reflecting its insufficiency to fight the misadventure and the menaces which it has clustered to spring forth.

The socio-economic impacts of the chains of the exchanges of the illicit venture and the abuse of substances have not been mild on the Nigerian society, nor has its grip been mean on the entire fabrics of the polity as a whole. The heightening of crime records and insecurity scourge in the country have not been unconnected with the pervasiveness and proliferation of hard substances, the abuse of which has been closely knitted to crimes and social delinquencies, which in their gripping impacts have posed threats to the socio-economic and political fabrics, among other working structures of the Nigerian society.

The fight against the illegitimate network is one demanding collective responsibilities, requiring efforts of all relevant institutions, bodies, and all meaningful citizens. The role of the Government is essential to set the campaign in perspective, while the contributions of non governmental organisations, including civil society organisations, religious institutions, the media, socio-cultural groups, among others must flow concertedly, as the scourge posed by the menaces clustering around the network of drug trafficking and its abuse is one posing macro effects, impacting all fabrics and classes of citizens at large. While the Government has the preserve of the use of force, the role and significance of all other institutions of the society cannot be downplayed to have an elaborate meaningful fight to prosecute a clampdown on the misadventure.

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