The Kano Command of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says drug abuse is at the increase in Kano during the period of lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

The NDLEA Commander in Kano, Dr. Ibrahim Abdul revealed this on Thursday in Kano, while briefing newsmen on the commemoration of 2020 International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

According to him, within the lockdown period, the command had intercepted 7.8 73.937 kilograms of various illicit drugs.

Abdul added that, “Even though the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on the operational activities of the command, over 1.2 tonnes of various illegal drugs were seized in May.”

He added that the NDLEA had also seized 4,374.629 kilograms of Cannabis Savita, 699.213 kilograms of Psychotropic, 87 kilograms of cocaine and eight kilograms of Heroin.

Abdul explained that, “within the lockdown period, the command had seized a vehicle loaded with compressed suspected dried weed of Cannabis sativa weighing 283 kilograms at 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 were also seized.

“Worthy to note also, a syndicate of Baron dealing in Cocaine was unbundled by our team, where a male and female suspects were apprehended with cocaine weighing 100 grams.

According to Abdul, from June 2019 to date, the agency in Kano had arrested 565 suspects, out of which 16 are females.

“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 mentioned lack of adequate manpower, shortage of logistics, inadequate facilities to accommodate addicts that requires counseling and rehabilitation as some of their challenges.

Other challenges he mentioned including, inadequate community participation in fighting against drug abuse and trafficking.

According to him, addressing the above logistics and Financial problems will go a long way in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking.

While commending the state government, traditional leaders, other sister agencies, media and stakeholders, Abdul called on the public to continue to give them necessary support.

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