Retired Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd), says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved recruitment of 5,000 personnel for the agency to boost its manpower.
Abdallah made the disclosure on Friday at the Public Destruction of Drug Exhibits by Taraba Command of NDLEA in Jalingo.
He said that the gesture would go a long way in improving operations of the agency on campaign against drug addiction in Nigeria.
He said increased consumption of illicit drugs among the youths in Taraba was worrisome, appealing to families to brace up to their responsibilities.
According to Abdallah, effective drug prevention must involve positive engagement of children, youths and adults with their families, schools, workplace and community.
He commended Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba for his support to the agency in addressing drug problems in the state.
He also commended Mrs Anna Darius, wife of the governor, for giving great impetus to the war against drug abuse in the state.
The chairman thanked the governor for including NDLEA commandant in the state’s Security Council as well as supporting the agency with operational vehicles.
He noted that the provision of Hope Afresh Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), managed by the wife of the governor for sensitisation against drug abuse was a great boost to anti-drug abuse campaign.
Earlier, Acting Commander of NDLEA in the state, Mr Peter Odaudu, had said that the agency had assembled seven tonnes (6,963.80 kilogrammes) of deadly weeds and psychotropic substances for destruction.
Odaudu said that the exhibits were seized between January, 2003 and December, 2018.
He listed some of the illicit drugs assembled for destruction as Cannabis Sativa, Diazepam, Rophynol, Cough syrups with codeine and Tramadol.
According to him, a court order for their destruction has been duly obtained.
Odaudu commended other security agencies in the state for their cooperation in the success recorded by the NDLEA.
He commended the state government for supporting the agency towards ensuring effective control in consumption of illicit drugs in the state.
In his remarks, the state governor, Mr Darius Ishaku, said that drug consumption had increased violent crimes in the state.
Ishaku, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Haruna Manu, said that most persons arrested for violent crimes in the state were youths.
He, therefore, urged the youths to avoid the use of illicit drugs, saying that it was dangerous to their health and the society.
He also urged the agency to collaborate with office of the First Lady to achieve more feat in its mandate of ensuring a drug-free society.
Ishaku said that the construction of health centres by the first lady’s foundation for sensitisation in the three senatorial zones was a better platform to adopt by the agency.
He assured the agency of continued support by the state government to eradicate drug abuse.