Mr Isa Adoro, the State Commandant of NDLEA in Ebonyi, said this on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He noted with sadness that much attention was not being given to the issue in many parts of the country.

Adoro said that if relevant stakeholders did not urgently tackle the problem, it would be difficult to check security challenges confronting the country.

“Peaceful protests in the country for instance, would always be hijacked by hoodlums who operate under the influence of illicit drugs.

“People did not realise that illicit drug abuse and dealings generally played a big role in the hijack and mayhem during the last #EndSARS protests,” he said.

The NDLEA state commandant revealed that the situation was more serious than most people thought and, therefore, needed urgent attention.

“Our officers, for instance, were involved in restoring normalcy during the protests and compared valuable notes with security agencies.

“It is sad that not much had been said about the role of illicit drugs in the discussions, dialogues and corrections enunciated to check insecurity in the country.

“We can only achieve desired results when we see such issue as a bigger challenge and formulate policies that would be appropriately implemented,” he said.

He noted that the agency had collaborated with relevant agencies in Ebonyi to check illicit drug trafficking and abuse and was happy with the results achieved.

“Recently, the law students association of the Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, conferred an award on us for diligent prosecution of illicit drug cases at the federal high courts in the state.

“This serves as a source of encouragement because it shows that people are observing our efforts to check illicit drug trafficking and abuse in the state,” he said.

Adoro called for more collaborative efforts with stakeholders to check the illicit drugs trend in the state as such fight should not be left to the agency alone.

“We will enhance our enlightenment campaigns in the media, enforcement, among other measures to ensure that the Ebonyi society is free from illicit drug trafficking and abuse.”