HURIWA condemns attack on NDLEA Operatives by gunmen in Edo State

Fri, Dec 8, 2023
By editor
4 MIN READ

Security

 HUMAN Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described as unwarranted,  despicable, reprehensible and absolutely distasteful, the latest violent attack in Edo state targeted at enforcement agents of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) just as it has called on Nigerians to stand in solidarity with the NDLEA in its determined efforts to rid the nation of hard drugs and illicit substances. 

The Rights group recalled that information that filtered into the office of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) indicated that patriotic, gallant and brave operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, successfully repelled rain of bullets from armed hoodlums who blocked all roads in Opuje community, Owan West local government area of Edo state to prevent the anti-narcotic operatives from accessing the forest warehouses where tons of processed psychoactive substances have been stored for distribution nationwide ahead of the coming Christmas and New Year season.

HURIWA recalled that specifically, this latest coordinated violent attack launched by daredevil armed hoodlums on the operatives  of the NDLEA, has happened barely 11 months after armed youths recruited by drug barons ambushed NDLEA officers who stormed the community to destroy massive warehouses and tents storing over 317,417 kilograms (317.4 metric tons) of cannabis sativa on Wednesday 18th January 2023. 

HURIWA commended the NDLEA for withstanding all machinations and blood cuddling violence aimed at their operatives even as the Rights group particularly applauded the NDLEA for the previous bold act of repelling the heavy gunfire attack and for successfully arresting three suspects: Omoruan Theophilus, 37; Aigberuan Jacob, 42; Ekeinde Anthony Zaza, 53, and Naomi Patience Ohiewere, 42,  in connection with the drugs haul, during the previous attack against NDLEA about 11 months ago.

HURIWA  citing a media communication from the NDLEA alleged that the Opuje community is notorious for cannabis cultivation, where the cartels invest huge resources, cutting down economic trees of the forest reserves and cultivating cannabis on a large scale, running into hundreds of hectares. After harvest, they build warehouses inside the forest reserves and employ the services of armed youths to protect the warehouses 24/7. 

“We in HURIWA have been told that consequent upon receiving credible intelligence that the drug cartels had again stocked their warehouses in the forest to start distribution of the psychoactive substance to various parts of the country ahead of the yuletide season, teams of NDLEA officers were mobilized to enter the Edo forests and block the distribution of the illicit drug by destroying their warehouses. Some of the warehouses containing about 6,000kgs of cannabis were first taken down in Ujiogba forest in Esan West LGA last weekend.”

“The NDLEA teams however came under gunfire attack in the early hours of Monday 4th December when they approached the Opuje forest after the armed hoodlums had blocked all access roads in the community. The NDLEA operatives were able to exit the area after over two hours of gun fight with the armed hoodlums.”

“Unfortunately, three of the officers were injured in the attack with one of them shot in the head while some of the vehicles used for the operation were riddled with bullets. The affected officers were rushed to the hospital for treatment while the critically injured one had a major surgery on Wednesday 6th December to remove the bullets in his brain.”

HURIWA which also stoutly praised the NDLEA for its latest feat of successfully  repelling the violent attack against their operatives by armed goons working in cohoot with a suspected hard drug trafficking kingpin, has also stated that the frequent violent attacks at the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, underscore the severity of the phenomenon of the daredevil activities of hard drug kingpins in the Country just as it expressed appreciation to the charismatic leadership provided by the Chairman of the NDLEA Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa and his resilient management team.

HURIWA, in a media statement, by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko has called on Nigerians all over the World to rally round the NDLEA and to key-in into the comprehensive, result-oriented and an all-out war on drugs even as the Rights group has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for graciously providing the support base and the enabling environment for the NDLEA to scale up the massive counter-narcotic battles all over Nigeria.

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December 8, 2023 @ 6:05 GMT|

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