*As NDLEA Destroys 20 Tons of Drugs
CHAIRMAN/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, Retd, has reiterated the resolve of the agency in its quest to rid Nigeria of illicit drugs.
Marwa made the declaration in Abuja on Tuesday during the destruction of 20 tons of assorted illicit drugs in the federal capital.
The NDLEA helmsman, who described the war as an all-out battle, affirmed that the destruction of the illicit drugs is a further affirmation of the resolve of the anti-narcotic agency to wage a total war against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the country.
“We may recall that when President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign of the NDLEA on June 26, 2021, he declared that WADA should not just be a slogan, but a call to civil action by all Nigerians Todays public destruction of 20 tons of illicit drugs and substances, further buttresses that call to action.
“To be destroyed here today is approximately 20, 000 kilograms of illicit drugs worth billions of naira. Approximately, 19, 598 kilograms of these assorted illicit drugs were seized by the FCT Command, comprising 19, 178 kilograms of cannabis, 0.1 kilograms of cocaine, 0.009 kilograms of heroin and 420 kilograms of other psychotropic substances.
The remaining 362 kilograms, seized at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, comprised 173 kg of cocaine, 36 kg of heroin, 93 kg of ephedrine, 60 kg of methamphetamine, 58 grams of cannabis, 219 grams of Rohypnol and 150 grams of Tramadol. Just as we witness the public destruction of these 20, 000 kg of assorted illicit drugs and substances today, let me bring to your notice that similar exercises have taken place in many states across Nigeria this year. Imagine the potential dangerous situations that could result if a quantum of these drugs found their way into society,” he asked rhetorically.
Marwa who was represented at the occasion by the Agencys Secretary, Mr. Shadrach Haruna disclosed that the illicit drugs and psychoactive substances were seized by the FCT and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Commands of the Agency.
“This is yet another evidence that NDLEA is relentless in its effort to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Nigerians. This exercise is taking place in accordance with the prescription of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) concerning the best method of disposing seized drugs without polluting our environmental ecosystem or endangering public health.”
While stating that the quantity of the drugs being destroyed is a reminder of the magnitude of the drug problem in the country, Marwa said the dire implications of the countrys drug prevalence rate is the reason the new NDLEA, under his leadership, has doubled down on efforts at aggressively pursuing its mandate.
“To this end, NDLEA has been effectively repositioned more than ever before to curtail the production, cultivation, processing, importation, exportation, sales, trafficking and abuse of controlled drugs and illicit substances. We have had to transform into an intelligence-driven anti-narcotic organisation. We have reinforced our resolution to mitigate the countrys drug prevalence by non-stop, result-oriented drug supply reduction operations, leveraging an Offensive Action philosophy to carry the fight to those who trade and traffic in banned and controlled substances, he added.
According to him, with over 10,000 arrests, more than 1,000 jailed, and 5,579 counselled and rehabilitated in 10 months, NDLEA is determined to deal with the illicit drug challenge.
“We are not resting on our oars. This time around, we are going to clean the Augean Stable. We are getting more sophisticated equipment that will enable us to achieve our operational mandates. Our workforce has been motivated to perform with promotions and performance reward schemes while we have also bolstered our strength with the employment of 5,000 officers and men this year.
“The Agency is experiencing a resurgence and is being retrofitted to operate at full capacity. I can declare to you that the drug-fighting machine that is NDLEA is fully oiled and in optimum condition. You can rest assured that the Agency will not fail in its mandate to keep society safe, he added.