The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Edo Command, has appealed to the Edo Government to urgently assist the command with an operational base to enable the agency continue its operations in the state.
Mr Buba Wakawa, State Commander of the agency, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Benin on Monday.
Mr. Wakawa said the appeal had become imperative as the activities of the agency had been stalled, following recent destruction and burning down of the command headquarters by hoodlums who had hijacked the #EndSARS protest in the State.
Mr. Wakawa had confirmed the development, claiming that some suspects who are awaiting trial were set free by the hoodlums, who he noted destroyed and set ablaze exhibits including vehicles in the premises.
The commander, therefore, said there was an urgent need for an equipped operational base as well as operational vehicles to get back to work.
“We need to immediately commence operation to take away drugs from illicit circulation. We need to reduce the crime rate and improve the level of security.
“Operational activities of the command have been grounded as we presently have no operational base, we lost vital documents.
“Counseling and rehabilitation of clients stopped and we have observed a rise in sales and use of drugs and increase in crime and violence,” Wakawa said.
He noted that the current situation in Upper Sakponba axis of the state capital, where the agency’s command headquarters was located, had become known for illegal drug sales and open abuse.
“Recent activities have clearly shown that drugs are catalyst of crime.
“However, what is important now is how to restore peace and orderliness back to the community.
“The priority is to get an operational base for the NDLEA to immediately commence work.
“Expectations of members of the public are high but prominent among them is the security of lives and property,’’ Wakawa said.