By Gracia Obi
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) recently in Abuja seized drugs valued at about N3 Million from drug hawkers in a surprise raid carried out at the popular Karimo market.
A statement by the Acting Director (Special Duties), Abubakar Jimoh, said the drugs seized include analgesics, anti-biotic and aphrodisiacs.
According to him, the drug hawkers were arrested selling drugs in the open market by NAFDAC officials.
“The hawkers violated the law against open hawking of drugs and handling sensitive drugs they are not authorised to handle,” he said. “We also seized drugs like Tramoldine, which is a popularly abused medicine by drug addicts and various brands of aphrodisiacs, some of which are not carrying NAFDAC registration numbers.”
He said NAFDAC officials arrested the drug hawkers while the man who is alleged to the main supplier of the drugs to the illegal market is on the run.
“The Agency’s officials broke into his warehouse, following a tip-off, and carted away different brands of drugs which he has illegally stocked in his warehouse under unhygienic and bad storage conditions,” he said.
Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer of the NAFDAC FCT office, Mr. A.M. Bashir, who led the raid, condemned the practice of open selling of drugs under harsh weather conditions, which he said could alter their properties and render them less efficacious.
“The practice of hawking drugs deteriorates the drugs, affecting their active ingredients and also affecting their potency,” he said. “This is why we carry out regular raids on all the markets, so as to rid the markets of such illegal drugs merchants.”
The Karimo market is located in one of the most densely populated and poorest areas of the FCT and is attractive to criminals of various shades. The drug hawkers stockpile their drugs in wooden shacks that carry no identification about the nature of the business they engaged in, to evade the detection of NAFDAC.