The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Oyo State has reported the arrest of 20 drug suspects during its mop-up operations in preparation for the inauguration of the new administration on May 29.
The State Commander, Mr. Olayinka Joe-Fadile, announced at a press conference in Ibadan on Saturday that the command had arrested 20 individuals, consisting of 18 males and 2 females, who were primarily drug users, and seized 2.96kg of cannabis sativa.
Joe-Fadile explained that the command increased its mop-up operations in response to a directive from the Chairman of the NDLEA, Buba Marwa, to carry out thorough intelligence mop-up operations to ensure the safety of all states in preparation for the inauguration.
The newly appointed State Commander stated that his primary goal upon taking office on May 8th was to carry out the provisions outlined in the enabling act of the agency.
“We are going after drug farms, manufacturers, distributors and users which we see as victims.
“We counsel, rehabilitate, and reintegrate them into society, while the hardened drug merchants will be prosecuted according to the provisions of law.
“We have lots of forest in the state, which has made cannabis planting convenient.
“Our target is to destroy these drugs from farms before they get to maturity and get to market, we will also mop up the few that escape to the market.
“The command recently discovered and destroyed a drug farm at Olosun village in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state, and we are going for more.
“Drugs are a catalyst for every violent and nonviolent crime, as long as we can get drugs off the streets, we can assure the populists that May 29 will be as peaceful as possible.
“We intend to keep as many arrested suspects as possible and release them back to society after the May 29 inauguration through social reintegration procedures, ” he said.
The state commander also warned that the war against drugs in Nigeria was ongoing and would not be conducted as usual. He stated that the new administration would not tolerate illegal drug activity and that the command was prepared to go to great lengths to apprehend drug lords.
He also acknowledged the support and cooperation of stakeholders in the state, including religious leaders, security personnel, and government officials, and called for further collaboration to eliminate drug use in the state.