CHAIRMAN/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, Retd, has assured the international community that Nigeria is ready and willing to take dynamic measures to curtail the unwholesome activities of drug lords and traffickers, including going after the assets.
Gen Marwa gave the assurance in New York, at the ongoing Third Committee Session of the 76th United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, while briefing them on the country’s preparedness and determination to nip in the bud the deadly activities of drug vendors, using appropriate legal dynamics.
“Nigeria will remain undaunted in adopting dynamic strategies to counter new approaches adopted by organized criminals, in order to make drug trafficking unattractive while ensuring forfeiture of the criminally derived assets, a tested and powerful deterrent to the proliferation of drug crimes and criminalities,” he declared.
According to him, the Nigerian Government has exhibited political will by demonstrating high commitment to the protection of public health and safety with the launch of the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, campaign, a call for civil action for all Nigerians to buy in and take full ownership of the fight against the menace of illicit drugs.”
The NDLEA boss reiterated that the country’s his agency has been buoyed by the huge support it received from all stakeholders, including civil society groups, non-profit organizations, academia, media and governments, a factor that has helped tremendously in heightening public enlightenment and youth sensitization on the dangers of drug use.
“More so, Nigerias Drug Control efforts have received a tremendous thrust with unprecedented stakeholders involvement; we have engaged civil society groups, non- governmental organizations, academia and governments at all levels, public enlightenment is also being strengthened with remarkable media visibility, even as the youths are regularly sensitized on social media platforms on the ugly consequences of illicit drugs and related criminalities.”
He added that the country’s fight against drug trafficking groups has resulted in the arrested of no less than 8,634 suspected traffickers and seizure of over a hundred billion Naira cash and drugs in just eight months of this year, adding that all suspects are guaranteed their fundamental rights even as they go through trial.
“Our consistent targeting of Drug Trafficking Organizations has resulted in the arrest of 8, 634 suspected drug traffickers and the seizure of over 100 billion Naira in cash and drugs within the first eight months of this year. Perpetrators will go through the Criminal Justice system, with their fundamental human rights, being strictly upheld.”
Gen Marwa, who was full of encomiums for NDLEA’s partners for their invaluable support in the areas of technical assistance, information and intelligence gathering, capacity building and training, among others, assured that his agency has adopted proactive measures in addressing issues affecting drug users and meeting the needs of vulnerable groups, including women, girls and out of school children. In particular, Marwa appreciated the agency’s
“…international partners, who in the spirit of shared responsibility, deserve to be appreciated for their great support through technical assistance, information and intelligence sharing, capacity building and training specifically in the area of countering the use of information and communication technology for criminal purposes, which has given great boost to our counter narcotic strategies.”
, Gen. Marwa said Nigeria is happy to report that the EU funded, UNODC sponsored Cannabis Cultivation Survey is expected to bring to the fore, the full extent of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria, and make it easier to target measures to contain this perennial menace, adding that the NDLEA has mapped out appropriate strategies, already adopted to address the issue of stigmatization of people who use drugs, including meeting the needs of vulnerable communities and groups such as women, girls, children-out of school and homeless, internally displaced persons and so on.
“It is worthy of mention here, that one of the challenges of the pandemic is the proliferation of On-Line sale of drug cookies and use of courier services to move illicit drugs. However, we were able to intercept, trace and dismantle most of the drug cells involved.
“Part of the successes of Nigerias drug war efforts, Marwa noted is the recent “first seizure of 74.119kg of Captagon brand of Amphetamine, presumably destined for use, to fuel insurgency and other violent crimes and criminalities, which Nigeria is currently grappling with,” he stressed.