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Over 2 Million People In South-South Use Psychoactive Substances – NDLEA

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No fewer than 2.1 million persons aged between 15 and 64 years in the South-South region use psychoactive substances, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said.

Stella Ngwoke, the Commander, NDLEA Command in Port Harcourt Ports, disclosed this in Onne on Wednesday at an event to mark the 2024 United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse.

Ngwoke, who quoted statistics from the 2018 National Drug Use Survey, said that about 14.3 million persons aged between 15 and 64 used illicit drugs in the country.

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We are talking about drug use for non-medical purposes. It has also been discovered that one out of every four drug users is a woman.

READ ALSO: Cleaner Sentenced To Life In Jail For Sexually Assaulting Sleeping Child In Church

“In Rivers, the prevalence rate is 15 per cent of the said population, which is estimated at 580,000 people,” she said.

The commander listed hemp, tramadol, morphine, and cough syrups containing codeine as the most abused substances in the South-South region.

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Ngwoke said that the current realities about drug intake in the country required that governments at all levels and relevant stakeholders rise to the occasion.

She said that NDLEA had already taken proactive steps to ensure a balanced approach towards reducing the demand for the regularly abused drugs.

READ ALSO: ASUU Laments FG’s Failure To Honour Agreements

The NDLEA official said that part of the approach was the suppression of the supply of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as stipulated in the National Drug Control Master Plan, 2020–2025.

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The commander said that already, the agency’s interdiction effort at the ports had led to the seizure of a large shipment of drugs from India.

Ngwoke stated that in May, the agency seized no fewer than 1,750 cartons of cough syrup with codeine, weighing 26,250 kg.

“Also, in June, another seizure of 875 cartons of cough syrup with codeine, also containing 17,500 bottles and weighing 26,250 kg, was made.

READ ALSO: Drop Your Arms, Seek Dialogue – CAOS Urges Arms Carrying Individuals

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“The street value of the drug in these two operations is estimated at over N4 billion,’’ she said.

Ngwoke said that, in addition to the seizure, mop-up operations were carried out around the Port Harcourt Ports corridor to dislodge drug joints.

Also speaking, the Special Guest of Honour, Mr Mohammed Babadende, expressed worries that drug abuse was ravaging the country.

READ ALSO: Two Witnesses Testify As EFCC Opens Case Against Ex-Gov Obiano

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He said that drug abuse had since metamorphosed into a global problem with a multifaceted challenge that touched on the lives of millions of people globally.

Babadende commended the NDLEA for working assiduously to tackle drug abuse, trafficking, and addiction in the country.

We all know that drug availability, affordability, and accessibility are directly influenced by addiction,” he said.

Mr Bayo Adepoju, the Deputy Director, Port Operations, NAFDAC, said that although tramadol and codeine were prescription drugs, it is illegal for anyone to have them in large quantities. (NAN)

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Metro

Edo: Police Arrest Three For Cultism, Recover Arms

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The Edo State Police Command has paraded three suspected cultists in Benin City alleged to be members of the Maphite confraternity.

According to a statement by a media aide to the governor, Crusoe Osagie, on Friday, the police commissioner, Funsho Adegboye, paraded the suspects, identified as Eyefia Godbless (30), Imuetiyan Ewemade (30), and Emeka Okpaja (22).

The trio were reportedly apprehended at Ubiaza Community, Off Sapele Road in Benin City, where they were allegedly planning to avenge the killing of a fellow member.

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READ ALSO: UPDATED: Scores Killed, About 200 Students Trapped In Jos Collapsed School Building

We have the full backing of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun on the fight against cultism and we are not joking with it,” Adegboye was quoted stating.

He added that Governor Godwin Obaseki and his executive team are also supporting the initiative to rid the state of cultism and criminality.

The police recovered several items from the suspects, including an automatic pump action gun, 11 live carriages, three green berets, and a Maphite constitution.

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According to the Commissioner, the suspects made confessional statements affirming their membership in the cult group.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Man With Skull In Abuja

Adegboye emphasized the dangerous nature of the weapons seized, stating, “This is an automatic pump action gun which is as deadly as AK 47 which has a bullet that can kill several people, unlike AK-47 which can kill just one person. According to the suspects, the gun was purchased for about N700,000.”

The Commissioner used the opportunity to appeal to the youth, urging them to gainfully engage themselves in profitable and positive activities adding that crime, cultism, and internet fraud do not pay.

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In addition to the three cultists, the police reported other recent arrests. These include five suspects apprehended at a cultist hideout along Siluko road, where two pump action guns, two locally made single barrel guns, and 20 live cartridges were recovered.

In a separate incident, one Osayande Tony was arrested with a pump action gun and two cartridges while driving a Mercedes Benz C300 Saloon car.

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The police also have in custody one Apalobi Daniel from Powerline, Ugbiyokho, Benin City, who allegedly strangled his wife to death during an argument. The suspect is expected to be charged in court soon.

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“At same Siluko road, Rapid Response Squad intercepted one Mercedes Benz C300 Saloon car with registration number YAB 389 BG, driven by Osayande Tony ‘M’ 48 years and was arrested with one pump action gun and two cartridges,” Adegboye added.

Adegboye further reiterated the commitment of the Edo State Government and the police, in collaboration with other security agencies and the press, to continue sensitising the public about the dangers of cult groups and criminal activities.

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UPDATED: Scores Killed, About 200 Students Trapped In Jos Collapsed School Building

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Plateau Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Musa Ashoms, has confirmed that about 200 students were trapped in the Jos school building that collapsed in Jos.

The News Agency of Nigeria, the Saints Academy, a secondary school in Jos, collapsed on Friday, while students were writing their third term examination.

Ashoms, who visited the scene in the company of other commissioners, including that of secondary education, said that the school had a total population of about 400.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: Scores Injured As School Building Collapses In Plateau

The commissioner said that part of the school that collapsed was accommodating about 200 students.

”The collapsed building has resulted in casualties, and injured students are still being evacuated to hospitals.

”We cannot, however, ascertain the exact number of casualties until the evacuation is completed

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“The emergency workers are doing a lot in the rescue efforts.

“The Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has urged the medical personnel in the hospitals to ensure that they save the lives of survivors.

“They should not ask for money or anything because this is an emergency situation,” he said.

READ ALSO: FEC Steps Down Projects From Past Govts For Review

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The commissioner however, said that the incident had underscored the imperative of order 003 of the state government, which was meant to enforce the implementation of the Greater Jos Master Plan, to prevent such unfortunate incidences.

According to him, the collapsed school building, which is was built on a waterlogged area, clearly did not meet construction standards.

Ashoms said that the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) would ensure that faulty buildings were brought down, while ongoing constructions would henceforth conform to standards

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BREAKING: Corp Members Escape Death As NYSC Hostel Collapses In Ekiti

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Some Corps members deployed to Ekiti State narrowly escaped death on Friday morning when the wall of the female hostel of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp collapsed on them.

The corp members recuperating in the clinic inside the orientation camp were said to have been rescued by their male counterparts who retrieved them from the rubbles.

One of the sources said: ”Yes the wall of one of the female hostels collapsed this morning (Friday) . It was the bathroom wall which caved in when they were planning to take their bath.

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” But thank God, people rushed down there to retrieve them from the rubbles. They have been stabilized at the clinic and they will get further medical treatments.”

READ ALSO:BREAKING: Scores Injured As School Building Collapses In Plateau

An official of the NYSC who spoke on anonymity confirmed the incident, saying only two corps members were affected and recuperating in the camp’s clinic.

He said there have been persistent calls by the leadership of NYSC in Ekiti State for the renovation of the dilapidated hostels but all the calls proved abortive

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He called on parents and guardians not to panic over the incident, adding that it had no serious negative impact on the corps members.

The corps members are in the camp for the three-week compulsory orientation camp for those posted to the State.

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