The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Bayelsa State Command, says it arrested 89 suspects in connection with drug trafficking, narcotics abuse and drug-related activities in the state.
The drug agency also said it recorded a total seizure of 73.779 kilogrammes of different classes of illicit drugs in the state.
The command’s spokesman, Mr. Osakwe Ikenna, said in a statement on Tuesday that the arrests and seizures were recorded during the first quarter of 2018.
Osakwe, the command’s Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs, said of the total number of suspects arrested, a breakdown showed that 68 were males, while 21 were females.
He said from the statistics of drug exhibits seized, Cannabis Sativa accounted for the highest drug of abuse with a total of 62.093kg.
He said the command during the same period counselled a total of 48 substance-dependent persons who had been rehabilitated and reunited with their families.
The spokesman said that the command was co-opted into a programme to carry out sensitisation outreaches by the Director-General, Girl Child Education, Government House to schools in several local government areas of the state.
Osakwe said the programme was carried out with a view to campaigning against cultism, teenage pregnancies, sexual and drug abuse.
He said, “The command wishes to appreciate the various media houses in the state for availing the command fora on their platforms to enlighten residents of the state on the dangers which illicit drug/substance abuse and dealing portends to the economic and social stability of Bayelsa State at present and in the future.
“The command wishes to bring to the notice of the public that apart from regular substances of abuse prevalent in the state, a new dimensioin has been added. This is in the form of a liquid concoction that goes by several street names in Yenagoa metropolis and other adjoining communities.
“These street names include ‘Skwooshies, Nwokike, Kpoka and Gutter Water. This liquid is a potent milk of several illicit drugs including cannabis sativa, tramadol, codeine, rohyphnol and local gin. They are usually disguised by mixing all the ingredients with black currant juice. This mixture is highly intoxicating addictive and potentially lethal as it has been known to cause psychosis and even instant death on consumption.
“The state commander, Mr. Abdullahi Abdul, hereby encourages all parents and guardians to pay attention to the types of seemingly innocuous beverages or drinks being consumed by their children or wards as they may just be getting high on the way to madness or instant death.
“The state commander also wishes to warn all drug dealers in the state to desist from their business of ruin and destruction forthwith or leave the state as the command is ready to ensure their arrest and prosecution. The state commander wishes to assure the public that notorious blackspots in the state capital and envions have been identified and raids will be executed on them imminently to dislodge illicit drug users and dealers, thereby sanitising the society.”
Osakwe said that it had become current, the high rate of violent crimes in the state such as asassinations, kidnapping, cultism, rape, burglary and theft among others.
He said those dysfunctional behaviours were inarguably carried out under the influence of illicit drugs or conversly because of the need to satisfy the craving of the drug of choice of the users.
He said the trade and consumption of illicit drugs was a primary cause of crime and disorder in the society.
He added, “All well-meaning residents of the state are encouraged to avail the command of useful information with their confidentiality assured.
“The general public is also encouraged to avail themselves of the command’s rehabilitation centre treatment of drug/substance-dependent children, wards or relatives.”