The Edo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it arrested 253 drug traffickers in Edo State last year.
The command said it also secured the conviction of 31 drug traffickers across the state in the period.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Benin, the state NDLEA Commander, Mr. Wakawa Buba, said illicit drugs weighing 45,341.04 kilogrammes were also seized while cannabis farms measuring 49.06 hectares were destroyed across the state during the period.
“A total of 253 suspected traffickers were arrested by the command in 2017. This comprises 190 males and 63 females. Thirty-one drug dealers were convicted while about 136 cases were pending at the Federal High Court, Benin,” he said.
Wakawa disclosed that 168 drug dependent youths were counselled and rehabilitated.
While lamenting that the problem of drug abuse in the state was assuming a worrisome dimension, Wakawa said the command was planning to construct a modern cottage rehabilitation centre to mitigate the problem of drug dependency.
He lamented the widespread drug abuse among youths, especially school age children, saying that apart from dropping out of school and drug-induced illnesses, most criminal acts in the state were perpetrated under the influence of drugs.
The commander identified inadequate logistics and funding as the major problem facing the command, saying that it was working very hard to reduce drug trafficking to the barest minimum in the state.