From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, has solicited the support of the Nigerian Army to tackle incidences of drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria.
Marwa made the call yesterday during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya in Abuja.
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He stressed that drug abuse is one of the crimes that is widely spread in the country, irrespective of tribe, gender or religion, adding that not less than 15 million Nigerians are directly or indirectly affected by drug abuse or trafficking.
Marwa said that the NDLEA needed more partnership with the Nigerian Army in its operations.
Responding, Farouk said that the army would continue to support and synergise with the NDLEA in the fight against drug trafficking.
He added that a tougher punishment should be given to drug traffickers, instead of ordinary conviction.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi command of the NDLEA said it seized about 196 pinches of methamphetamine, popularly called “Mkpuru Mmiri” from suspected drug dealers from January to date.
The state NDLEA Commander, Mr. Isa Adoro, who made the disclosure in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, yesterday, said that the seizures were made by the operatives of the agency in various locations in the state, including rural communities.
The commander restated the commitment of the agency to fighting drug trafficking and abuse not only in Ebonyi, but in the entire country.
“The command has been working round the clock in spite of security challenges. We have carried out a lot of public enlightenment in schools, churches, mosques and communities on the danger of drug intake.
“In general, 2021, from January till date, we have seized 196 pinches of methamphetamines, including the loose quantity, meth socked with beverage and these bring it to 0.506kgs,” he said.
On dangers associated with the intake of mkpurummiri, the commander described the drug as “most current dangerous” one to health around the globe.
“The mkpurummiri addiction has no cure any where around the world. It makes one to lose senses; it causes weakening of teeth and falling.
“To quickly know the person, who is addicted to methamphetamine; he or she will sometime picking off hair, peeling finger nails and regular sleepless night.
“I call on stakeholders in the state to join hands with the NDLEA in fighting the menace of drug trafficking and abuse,” Adoro advised.
Lagos gets new police commissioner as Odumosu bows out
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has appointed Abiodun Alabi as the new Commissioner of Police for Lagos State.
Alabi, the immediate past Commissioner of Police for Bauchi State, would take over from Hakeem Odumosu who was recently promoted to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police.
learnt that Odumosu would formally hand over to Alabi next week.
N700 daily ticketing: We aren’t slaves, Edo wheelbarrow pushers cry out to govt
From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The chairman, Wheelbarrow Pusher Association, Edo State chapter, Otunba Adebayo, yesterday, called on the state government to investigate the issue of alleged extortion by individuals in the name of ticketing at the Oba Market, saying that they are not slaves.
He made call during a protest march against extortion and multiple taxations of members of the association in Benin City.
Adebayo said the recognized ticket by the association was N50 but suddenly, various levies started to emanate from nowhere, culminating to the sum of N1000 in a day.
“When they started, they were collecting N50. From N50 it is now N700. We are not slave. That is the reason for the protest.
“The money they are collecting from us is too much. government does not ask them to collect N700 from anybody. government did not also tell them to fight anybody, injured people in the market.
“The embarrassment is too much. If you go to hospital now, you will see a lot of the wheelbarrow pushers lying in hospitals. Some of us have given up the trade.
“How much are we working? Some will rent wheelbarrow for N300 and work at most N3000 while some will not work as much as that. That is how we have been sustaining ourselves in the business. Those that work between N700 and N1000 a day, if you remove N300 how much will now be left for the person? Nothing”, he said.
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He added that “My people don’t want to steal, kidnap, yahoo (Internet fraud) but the only yahoo they know how to do is the wheelbarrows they are pushing for a living.
“The problem is that there are too much people collecting ticket from us (ticketing). Among the ticket people are those without ticket. They go about with marker. In the marker group, they are about six in groups”.
He said the protest will from today last to next week if government does not answer them or do something positive about it.
For Abdualli Samata, from Kano State, they pay N200 for community chair, marker, N200, painting, N200, all this money, according to him is too much for them to pay.
Also, Paul Okoh, called on Edo State government to come to their rescue noting that since the banning of bikes by the past administration in the state, they decided to take to pushing of wheelbarrows as a means of survival.
Caption: The wheelbarrow pushers protesting multiple taxations in Benin City yesterday.