Mixed reactions trail NDLEA’s N194 billion Lagos drug bust

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) seized 1.8 tonnes (1,855 kg) of cocaine that was worth about N194,775,000,000 on the illegal market, or around $278,250,000. This resulted from a raid on a sizable warehouse in a gated community in Lagos State’s Ikorodu district.

This information was released in a press statement on Monday, September 19, 2022, by Femi Babafemi, director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja.

According to him, the well-planned and intelligence-driven operation, which lasted two days across several sites in Lagos State, resulted in the arrest of at least four drug lords, including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager.

What people online are saying

Filmmaker and lawyer, Ayo Shonaiya said on Twitter: “That cocaine bust in Ikorodu is crazy!!! Makes you wonder if the demand out there created that much supply. We might have a bigger problem on our hands.

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It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For an operation that largescale to be functional in Lagos means there might be a market for it here or a covet way of smuggling it to be sold in other countries. People applauded the efforts of the NDLEA.

Activist Aisha Yesufu tweeted, “It seems President Buhari got it right with Col. Buba Marwa on this NDLEA thing. Same organization now doing magic because of leadership change. Leadership is everything!”

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Amidst the praise, one general sentiment shared by a lot of Nigerians was how questionable the operation was. They noted that in February of this year, there was a similar sting where the NDLEA tried to shut down and apprehend marijuana dealers. That resulted in gunshots and rumoured deaths.

They noted that for a drug that is that expensive, harder to come by, and stored in bulk worth billions of Naira, it should have been guarded.

  • “How convenient. If you all believe this is a legit coke burst, come I have an airport to sell to you. First off, no one moves this kind of weight without some major backing,” one Twitter user said.
  • Another added, “How do you bust $280+ million worth of Cocaine and not a single shot was fired? Nobody was crazy, armed and protecting such a cache? Even trap houses don’t go down that easy to be very honest. Something doesn’t add up.”

Whether it was orchestrated or not, the main issue was that a warehouse filled with illicit drugs was at a point present, which means regular citizens have to be more vigilant.

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