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MMIA: There is upsurge in the trafficking of Tramadol, methaphitamine and Ephedrine ……Ahamadu

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NDLEA Lagos Airport Commander, Garba Ahmadu

The Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba says the volume of illicit drugs trafficked through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos especially Tramadol, Methaphitamine and Ephedrine have increased.

He said the first and second quarter of 2018, a total of 4,449.9 worth of Tramadol was seized, cocaine 11.6, heroin 7.5, methaphitamine 42.88, ephedrine 89.96, cannabis sativa 15.64, cocaine and heroin mixture 6.260 while other psychotropic substances was 35.10 kilograms.

According to him,there is an increase in the influx of Tramadol into Nigeria, a situation that is creating a very serious problem in the country.

Ahmadu who revealed this yesterday in an event to mark the “United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” in Lagos advised that it was high time all and sundry stood up and see what they could do to make sure Nigerians see to the end of drug abuse and trafficking in this country.

The Commander emphasized that the quantity of Tramadol coming into the country was of high volume because traffickers were bringing a lot of it, apart from other drugs; adding that there were also upsurge of outward trafficking of Methamphetamine and Ephedrine.

“If you look at manifest so far, you see a lot of departures from Nigeria but somehow, when they are coming back, you see them diverting to most West African countries. There is an upsurge in the quantity of drug seizure because if you look at what we have been able to arrest in 2017 it is a kind of unprecedented in the last ten years in terms of quantity. Again, if you look at this year now, we have almost tripled what we have been able to do and what is surprising about this thing is the quantity of Tramadol coming into the country”.

“The volume is much because they are bringing a lot of it, apart from other drugs. There are several upsurge too of either inward or outward trafficking, mostly outward trafficking of Methamphetamine and Ephedrine. These are things that are very clear and there is a growing increase in trafficking of Methamphetamine, Ephedrine and Tramadol”, he added.

On arrest, Ahamadu said 35 suspects were arrested, 30 males and 5 females, he added that most of the seizures were abandoned.

“Most of the seizures are not really abandoned seizures. But a few of them are. One of the largest seizure; that of Tramadol is an abandoned one. But almost all the seizures have people attached to them. It is either, even if it is not arrest made at the initial stage, we do follow up and at the end of the day we are able to get those responsible for it. Even this Tramadol seizure is not like we have relaxed. We are still working on it. We are trying to see how we are going to trace the person that import them. In almost all the places, there are people who have been arrested for those seizures and in a few cases where there are no people arrested, after follow up investigations, we are able to get this people. I think the success rate of follow up in the command so far has been very encouraging”.

He said because of the vigilance of NDLEA at the Lagos Airport, a lot of departures from Nigeria divert to other West African countries, whenever they are coming back to the country.

Advising that everybody has a quota to contribute to make sure Nigeria see to the end of drug abuse in this country, the NDLEA boss pointed out that although the Joint Border Tax Force project has provided some vehicles to them, they still have issues in the areas of manpower and adequate funding.

Stating that NDLEA has robust relationship with their collaborators, Ahmadu commended the efforts of these partners in the areas of local and oversea trainings which he said have yielded positive results by way of number of seizures. Our relations is cordial.

Speaking further on the “United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”, Ahmadu noted that the theme of this year is “Listen First” which entails that “Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe”

Ahmadu said “the theme of the year is Listen First. It is important for parents to listen to drug users. Counsellors, first have to know why the children go into drug. They don’t demonise the habit but create an impression so that they can be able solve the problem. What drug addicts need is help. For you it is important to know how they started; so that even if they are rehabilitated, they would not go back. This is why you have to know why they started taking drugs in the first place”.

“You also have to know if it is peer pressure or other causes. Sometimes, one of the causes of going into drug is parental drug use in the house. If you drink a lot of beer and come back drunk; or you fight too much with your wife and everyday he gets angry. So we are parents too have to listen to the children”, he added.

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