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The Ekiti State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended 14 individuals suspected of engaging in illegal drug dealing and usage in the Atikankan area of Ado Ekiti, the capital of the state.

Sunday Aina, the NDLEA State Commander, revealed that the suspects, including three illegal drug dealers, were captured during a weeklong operation dubbed ‘Operation Clean Up Atikankan.’

Aina emphasized that the agency had apprehended over 50 suspects in the past month alone.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday while presenting the 14 suspects, the State Commander reaffirmed the agency’s dedication to restoring order to the Atikankan area and other drug hotspots throughout the state.

Aina said this will create a drug-free environment in Ekiti and its surroundings.

He said, “On assumption of duty in Ekiti State last month, one of my concerns was the dreaded place called Atikankan in Ado Ekiti. I promised to make the place my starting point, hence, we declared a weeklong continuous operation tagged ‘Operation Clean Up Atikankan.’

“It was a successful operation. The outcome is what we are seeing; 14 suspects arrested and they are here. The operation is not targeted at users alone, we have three dealers among them that we are still investigating their cases. If there is no demand, there will be no supply.

“This operation has equally unveiled seven dealers supplying drugs to that place. They are on our watchlist. We are building our intelligence on them. Hunting for them has already started and by the grace of God, we will get them.

“It is an established fact that there is a nexus between drug and crime. Drug is a catalyst to all other criminalities. We are not going to allow some disgruntled elements to take over Ekiti all in the name of being drug barons, drug peddlers and drug users.”

The commander also disclosed that Cannabis Sativa (Indian Hemp) and methamphetamine (ice) were seized from the suspects, underscoring the agency’s zero tolerance for such activities.

He emphasized, “We will not tolerate this. We have zero tolerance for drug abuse and trafficking, and we will fight it relentlessly.”

Aina urged parents to be more vigilant, saying, “They (parents) should pay attention to the type of friends their children associate with. It is often through peer groups, disguised as friendships, that some are enticed into drug use, leading to various crimes including robbery and kidnapping.”

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