The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Bayelsa Command, on Tuesday said it arrested 59 illicit drug dealers in the state in the third quarter of 2016.
Mr Osakwe Ikenna, the agency’s spokesman in the state made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Yenagoa.
Ikenna also said that the agency removed 98.9 kilogrammes of different types of drugs from circulation in the state.
He said that the arrests and seizures were made during the third quarter of 2016.
Ikenna, a Superintendent of Narcotics and Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs, said among the number arrested, 12 were female while 47 were male.
He said that the recovered illicit drugs were seized in various parts of the state.
According to him, some were recovered by the command’s operatives on motorised patrol along the East-West Road, while others were recovered within the state capital, Yenagoa.
“We also recovered some of them in other local government areas in the course of raids on notorious joints and houses of notorious drug dealers.
“This haul of seized drugs and arrests is just one of the measures to sound a note of warning to unrepentant drug dealers in the state to desist from this evil and sinister trade.
“The command is poised to locate and apprehend them (illicit drug dealers) wherever they may be hiding and carrying out their illegal and destructive trade.
“Parents, relatives of drug dependent persons and even drug peddlers, are hereby advised to avail themselves of the counselling and rehabilitation services available at the state command headquarters without fear of arrest.
“Drug dependence has been recognised the world over as a health issue requiring treatment rather than arrest and prosecution,” he said.
Ikenna urged parents and guardians to equip themselves with knowledge on drug types and signs of drug use in order to be able to identify possible drug use among their children and wards.
The spokesman said such knowledge would facilitate early intervention.
He also advised them to listen to the words and thoughts of their children and wards to understand them when they are crying out for help.
“It is trite that there can be no manner of crime perpetrated in the society without the involvement of illicit drugs.
“Consequently, to achieve a peaceful, crime free and economically viable society, all organisations and individuals must see themselves as stakeholders and contribute to make the state drug free,” he said.