NDLEA officers grateful over President Tinubu’s support for drug war – Marwa


. Inspects Yola barracks project, says first set of historic personnel accommodation almost ready for commissioning

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has expressed the appreciation of officers and men of the anti-narcotic agency to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his continuous support for the on-going efforts to curb the scourge of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the country.

Marwa stated this in response to questions from journalists while inspecting facilities at the NDLEA barracks, which is almost ready for commissioning in Yola Adamawa state. According to him, “We thank God for the project, we appreciate the continuity in governance. President Buhari appreciated the issues surrounding the security and welfare of staff. They seize, arrest, prosecute and deal with the criminals, yet the criminals come back to them because they live among them. But now we have the barracks for our personnel. President Buhari approved it and commenced it, and now President Tinubu has continued with same zeal and drive, so we appreciate this element of concern towards the NDLEA.”

While commending the standard and quality of work being done at the barracks, he said “Consultants, contractors have done very well, good quality, well monitored, best materials and design as you can see, and we are 95% done. We hope that by the grace of Allah, before the middle of this year, we’ll fully launch this first phase. We are targeting initially the six geopolitical zones to have a barrack each, for equity and balance and in the succeeding years, we hope the succeeding government will continue in all the 36 state commands, FCT, and Special Area commands. Our officers are all excited and willing to do more, because this is a testament to the good work that the officers have been doing that yielded this project and they are willing to do even more.”

In his response to another question, the NDLEA boss said beyond arrests, seizures and prosecution of drug traffickers and barons to address supply reduction, the agency is equally committed to reducing the demand for illicit substances by combining forces with other stakeholders to raise awareness and address the root causes of substance abuse.

“In 2018, a Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA) was set up, which I had the distinct honour of being the chairman. One of the major tasks that we had was to identify the root causes of drug abuse and trafficking and make recommendations which we did. In the process, we found that poverty is one of the key predisposing factors of drug use in all societies. It is important to note that it is not only Nigeria that has this problem, the whole world is facing it. So, in pursuing temporary relief, some people get into drugs.

“For this reason, I know for a fact that the president is determined to pull Nigerians out of poverty. And for the NDLEA and other institutions and stakeholders like the ministry of health, NAFDAC, etc, we are all combining efforts in drug demand reduction.” 

He noted that the war against drug abuse is an all-encompassing one, which goes beyond the responsibility of only NDLEA. “The media are in the forefront, the church is in the forefront, community leaders, Imams, clerics, educators, NGOs, traditional institutions, women and youth organizations; we all must collaborate with security agencies to stamp out drug abuse from this country.”

He hinted that in a matter of days he will be briefing the nation about a major seizure and some arrests made as part of ongoing efforts to dismantle drug cartels still operating between Nigeria and other countries in Africa, Europe and America. 

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