By Ugochukwu Alaribe, Umuahia
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency,NDLEA, Abia State Command, has warned hotel owners in the state that allowing the use of illicit drugs in their premises could lead to forfeiture of their hotels to the federal government.
Commander,NDLEA ,Abia state, Akingbade Bamidele, said that the agency has discovered the widespread use of drugs in hotels following serious raid in many notorious black spots in the state which has unsettled illicit drug dealers.
Bamidele said that the NDLEA has already complied with the directive of the Abia State Drugs Control Abuse Committee, led by the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Okochukwu, to organize a workshop where hoteliers will be sensitized about the use illicit drugs in their premises.
In his words, “We equally discovered the preponderance of the use of drugs in hotels. Because of the activities of security agencies in black spots people now moved from the black spots to hotels and we have notified government about this development that wherever you have drugs being peddled, it’s like a centripetal force that attract other criminals into that area
“We’ve told them what to do. We’ve made it clear that it’s not their duty to arrest anybody using drugs in their premises, but it’s their responsibility to inform the NDLEA or the police.
“We’ve brought it to their knowledge that using of their premises for drugs have very stringent consequences as such premises can be forfeited to the Federal Government if we pursue the matter till the end.
“So, we’ve asked them to lighten up some of the areas these people normally use for drugs. We’ve equally encouraged them to put a sign of ‘no illicit drugs use in the hotels’ and this has been working as they’ve been giving us some information.
“The Deputy Governor is the Chairman of the State Drugs Control Abuse Committee directed that I should organize a workshop for hoteliers in Aba and about 105 of them were captured in the workshop two months ago where both police and DSS sent resource persons.”
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