Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) faced an armed attack by hoodlums in the Opuje community, situated in the Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State.
The armed hoodlums strategically blocked all access roads to the community, aiming to impede the NDLEA's efforts to reach forest warehouses holding a substantial quantity of processed psychoactive substances. These substances were allegedly intended for widespread distribution across the country in preparation for the upcoming Christmas and New Year season.
According to a statement from NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, shared Online on Thursday, three officers were injured during the attack. One officer sustained a gunshot wound to the head, while several vehicles used in the operation were riddled with bullets.
Babafemi disclosed, “The affected officers were rushed to the hospital for treatment while the critically injured one had a major surgery on Wednesday, December 6, to remove the bullets in his brain.”
This incident occurred just 11 months after armed youths, recruited by drug barons, ambushed NDLEA officers who had raided the community to dismantle warehouses and tents storing over 317,417 kilograms (317.4 metric tons) of cannabis sativa on January 18, 2023.
In response to credible intelligence indicating that drug cartels had restocked their forest warehouses, gearing up for the distribution of psychoactive substances ahead of the yuletide season, NDLEA teams mobilized. Their mission was to enter the Edo forests, disrupt the drug distribution chain, and destroy the illicit substance stockpiles.
Recent operations in Ujiogba forest, Esan West LGA, resulted in the takedown of warehouses containing approximately 6,000 kilograms of cannabis. The NDLEA continues to demonstrate unwavering determination in its fight against drug trafficking, even in the face of armed resistance from criminal elements. Stay tuned for further updates on this developing story.