From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Gen Mohammed Buba Marwa, Rtd, Chairman/CEO of NDLEA
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Kogi State command, has embarked on a sustained raid on illicit drug outlets in the state.
One of the top areas raided on Tuesday is the popular Central Hotel along IBB way in Lokoja, the state capital, where the NDLEA dislodged dealers in illicit drugs.
It was gathered that the popular Hotel has been shut down for being a blackspot for drug addicts and serving as a hideout for hoodlums who attacked a journalist last Friday.
The suspected hoodlums attacked the journalist last week Friday accusing him of exposing the Hotel as a den for dealing in dangerous drugs.
During the attack, it was learnt that the investigating journalist was beaten to a coma and later rushed to an undisclosed hospital where groups of medical experts made efforts to revive him.
The Hotel, according to sources, is allegedly known for housing criminals who see it as their safe haven for their nefarious activities within the Lokoja metropolis.
The closure of the central brothel has brought a sigh of relief to residents in the area who told our correspondent that people within the vicinity over the years had lived in fear because of the presence of bad elements coming to the brothel to enjoy themselves.
A resident of the area who gave his name as Ajogun commended the NDLEA and other security agencies for taking this bold step, stressing that, “a series of atrocities are being committed in this hotel, but nothing had been done because of the fear of the unknown. We have been living in fear within this area just because of this hothel.
“I must tell you, it takes the grace of God to raise a child in this place. We see different things in this place. Imagine, this place is the hub of Indian hemp distribution and other dangerous drugs. Aside from this, the sex hawkers that our children are seeing on daily basis calls for concerns as it is not the best way to teach a child about the morality of life.
” Last year, a security personnel was killed in this central hotel by these bad boys who come here to buy and smoke this Indian hemp and other dangerous drugs. Many lives have been lost.
“It seems the attack on this journalist was a blessing in disguise to liberate us from this evil act perpetrated by these bad boys who are coming to the central hotel to cause havoc in our area. Can you imagine, when it is 8 pm, you can’t walk freely within this area or these bad guys will rob you of all your belongings. We can no longer continue like this. The appropriate authority should not open this brothel again to prevent these guys from assembling again for this illicit drug business.”
The Kogi State commander of the NDLEA, Alfred Adewumi, while confirming the raid, however, denied knowledge of the shutting down of the hotel but said that raids were carried out in and around the area.
“We have had cause on many occasions, especially with the notoriety associated with the area around Central Hotel, Lokoja, for illicit drug dealing, to carry out raid and dislodging of black spots around the place.
“In continuation of our offensive approach to drug control, we are sustaining the raid all over the state.
“What we did around Central Hotel, Lokoja, is in conformity with this approach.
“I am not aware that the Central Hotel, Lokoja, is shut down but I am certain that operatives of NDLEA have maintained vigilance around the neighborhood to ensure illicit drug activities are discouraged,” he said.