09 Dec Edo Forest Confrontation: NDLEA Officers Engage in Gunfight with Armed Hoodlums, Three Operatives Injured
By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria
In a recent confrontation, three operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) sustained injuries during a clash with armed hoodlums in Opuje, Edo State. The NDLEA officers were responding to intelligence about drug cartels restocking warehouses in the forest with psychoactive substances. The operation, aimed at blocking the distribution of illicit drugs ahead of the yuletide season, faced gunfire attacks from the armed hoodlums.
The statement by Femi Babafemi, the Director of Media and Advocacy for NDLEA, revealed that drug cartels heavily invest in protecting their warehouses in Opuje, known for large-scale cannabis cultivation. NDLEA teams successfully dismantled some of the warehouses in Ujiogba forest in Esan West LGA, but encountered resistance when approaching the Opuje forest.
During the early hours of December 4th, armed hoodlums blocked access roads in the community, leading to a two-hour gunfight with NDLEA operatives. Unfortunately, three officers were injured, with one sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. The affected officers received medical attention, and one underwent major surgery on December 6th to remove bullets from his brain.
This incident highlights the challenges law enforcement faces in tackling drug-related activities and organized crime. The NDLEA’s efforts to curb the illicit drug trade demonstrate the risks involved in combating such criminal enterprises.