THE Chairman, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Mustapha (rtd), Monday, frowned at the ambush and killing of four officers of the agency, while on patrol in Ifon, Ose Local Government Area (LGA), Ondo State.
Mustapha, during a briefing in Abuja, disclosed that drug syndicates and barons launched the attack on the victims, killing them instantly and also burnt their patrol vehicle.
“This ugly incident occurred in Ifon, in Ose Local government Area of Ondo State, during a routine patrol by the team who had vociferously fought against the menace of hard drugs in the state to a standstill”.
“The organised criminals ambushed the team and snuffed the life out of the four gallant officers who fought till death,” said the NDLEA Chairman.
According to the agency, the NDLEA has constantly destroyed several cannabis farms in many parts of Ondo State, confiscating hard drugs running into millions of naira from the barons and syndicates in the state.
Beyond Ondo, the agency also monitors and eventually destroys seized hard drugs and contrabands in several other states in the country.
In April 2018, the agency destroyed 14, 360 illicit drugs in Yola, Adamawa state. Five months after, it paraded some offenders and destroyed 110.542 tons of hard drugs in Akure, same Ondo state. This was shortly after the destruction of 136 tons of hard drugs in Edo.
In October, just a month after the destruction of cannabis in Ondo, another 200 hectares of India hemp plantation was destroyed in the same state while 137 drug offenders were arrested.
Early hours of today, 21 Indian hemp farmers were also arrested and 60 bags of weeds destroyed in Delta state.
He kicked against the attack and pledged to bring the fleeing perpetrators to book.
“In 2017 alone, NDLEA destroyed over 10,000 hectares of cannabis farm in Ogbese areas and this success was quickly followed with the destruction of another 14,000 hectares of cannabis farm and harvested cannabis in their warehouses along the same axis of Ogbese and Ifon areas of the state in 2018,” Mustapha added.
In a statement issued by Femi Oloruntoba, spokesperson of the agency, the NDLEA chairman sympathised with the family of the deceased officers and promised to do everything possible within the reach of the agency to soothe their pains.
He said the agency decided to keep the pictures of the slain officers from the public out of respect for the dead.
“NDLEA would leave no stone unturned in our quest to unravel the motive behind the attacks and bring the attackers to justice as soon as possible”.