By Abimbola Ogunnaike
At least over N1 billion worth of seized drugs have been destroyed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Delta State.
The drugs, it was gathered, weighing 5,723.310kg, were burnt at Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Major Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), said the public destruction of the drugs was dedicated to the late Ivan Omhonria, the two-year-old minor who was killed by a stray bullet on Thursday, 13 July, 2023 in the Okpanam area of Delta State where operatives of NDLEA were chasing drug barons.
“I wish to say that the public destruction of seized drugs in Delta State is dedicated to the minor who paid the supreme price with his life in the struggle towards making Delta State safe and secure through drug control activities.
“We expressed distaste and displeasure over the tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the hero of the drug war,” he said.
Marwa, represented by the Commander in Charge of Zone M, Fidelis Kokodia, said the destruction of the drugs was sequel to an order of the Federal High Court, Asaba and Warri divisions.
He said the courts mandated the agency to publicly destroy illicit drugs exhibited in respect of cases that had been concluded from 2018 to 2022.
Earlier, the Delta State Commander of the agency, John Tunde, citing the 2018 UNODC brief survey report, regretted that Delta ranked first in drug abuse and illicit trafficking in the entire South South.
Tunde described the discovery of the largest and most sophisticated clandestine laboratory for the production of methamphetamine in Asaba, Delta State, as worrisome.
Delta NDLEQA boss listed the destroyed drugs to include cannabis sativa 5.614 tons; cocaine 416.77g; methamphetamine 105.12g; heroin 98.2g; tramadol 20.264g; swinol/Rohypnol 1.867kg; diazepam 8.355kg; and pentazocine 1.2kg.
He appealed to the state government to assist the command in the area of logistics to enable it to carry out its mandate more effectively.