The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, has urged the Nigerian Army to work more closely with the NDLEA in combating drug abuse and trafficking in the country.
On Thursday in Abuja, Marwa paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, at Army Headquarters.
He stated that fighting drug cartels necessitated collaboration with the military, which possessed superior firepower, and that drug cartels are always well-equipped due to their financial clout.
While expressing gratitude for the Nigerian army’s assistance thus far, Marwa stated that the country’s drug scourge had become concerning and widespread.
He stated that no single community in the country is free of the problem of drug abuse, and that drug abuse does not discriminate against any religion, gender, or tribe.
He claims that 15 million Nigerians abuse drugs, which is three times the global average.
“10.6 million people use cannabis, and some even drink it, which has obviously destroyed homes, families, and society.”
“More relevant to the army is the effect and linkage with criminalities, because all Boko Haram insurgents and bandits use drugs.”
“As the lead agency in Nigeria for drug abuse and trafficking control, we in the NDLEA wish to assure you that we will continue to uphold our standards to the best of our ability.”
“We know that when we seize something, even if it’s only one kilogram, it’s one kilogram less of an effective influence on criminals.”
“So far this year, we have seized 3.3 million kilograms and convicted over 1,000 of these criminals.”
“In fact, between September and now, 475 people have been imprisoned, and N120 billion in drug money has been seized, which is the third component.”
“They sell the drugs in order to fund terrorist activities.” “With this, we hope to collaborate even more with the Nigerian army in the activities of drug control and elimination in Nigeria,” he said.
In response, the COAS stated that the Nigerian Army has always supported and collaborated with the agency in its efforts to combat the societal menace of drug abuse and trafficking.
Yahaya acknowledged that there was a direct link between drug abuse and criminality, pledging that the army would continue to collaborate with the NDLEA in the country’s fight against illicit drugs.
He advocated for measures to be put in place to ensure that convicted drug traffickers are publicly named and shamed in order to deter others from doing the same.
According to him, much work remains to be done to combat the menace of drug abuse and trafficking, and the Nigerian army stands ready to assist the NDLEA.