By Megito Audu
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig- Gen Buba Marwa (Retd) has disclosed that strategic operational efforts of the agency against drug cartels across the country launched some five months ago, has yielded over 2,180 arrests of drug traffickers and the seizure of over 2 million kilograms of assorted illicit drugs.
“We’ve filed at least 2,100 drug cases in courts, recording over 500 convictions with 1,549 cases pending in courts,” Marwa added.
He made this known at a press briefing to unveil the week-long activities of the agency to commemorate the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking held on Monday, 21June, 2021 at the Transcript Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
According to him, the results have given big insights into the magnitude of the drug problem and the work ahead is enormous.
NDLEA, he said, cannot win the drug war without the help of the citizens.
“We need the cooperation of all and sundry. We all owe Nigeria the duty of ensuring that drug abuse and trafficking do not thrive in this country. For us all, it is an urgent assignment, because if we must end youth radicalization, violent extremism, cultism, banditry, wanton kidnapping, insurgency and the like, drug abuse and trafficking must be dealt a decisive blow.
“To win the drug war, NDLEA must synergize with other law enforcement and sister agencies and stakeholders for maximum impact. The simplest contribution that we ask of every patriotic citizen is what is captured by the theme of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking: “Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives,” he said.
Marwa, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his support. “The President has continued to demonstrate the strong political will to address issues of drug abuse in the country fully recognising that drug abuse has a direct link to insecurity.
“We in the NDLEA will continue to execute his mandate to fight against the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.I also thank our sister agencies, stakeholders, foreign partners and the media for their support. The drug war must be won. With your support, our victory is assured,” the NDLEA boss said.
Every 26 June is earmarked by the United Nations as International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking with this year’s event appropriately themed “Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives.”
In commemoration of this special day, the NDLEA boss said the week will be devoted to a range of activities designed to accentuate the new anti-drug order and to further ramp up the Agency’s advocacy to the citizenry with the launching of the Standard Policy and Practice Guidelines (SPPG) for NDLEA counsellors.
On Tuesday, 22 June, 2021, Marwa will be on NTA “Tuesday Live” at 10 pm. Wednesday, 23 June, 2021 tagged NGO Day, is set aside for all Non-Governmental Organisations working in the drug abuse prevention/advocacy spectrum to hold their various activities in celebration of UN Anti-drug Day.
On Thursday, 24 June, 2021, the line-up of activities starts with a programme on Radio Nigeria at 8 am. The day will also feature a youth awareness programme. It will involve advocacy visitations to six institutions selected from each of the six local council areas of the FCT.
On Friday, 25 June, 2021, there will be a special Juma’at service in commemoration of the UN Day at the National Mosque, Abuja. The day’s activities will be capped with the movie premiere of ‘The Silent Baron’ at the Silverbird Cinema, Abuja at 4pm.
Saturday, 26 June, 2021 will feature the grand finale, the formal launch of War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) by President Buhari. The day will also feature a guest lecture and the unveiling of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) 2021-2025.
On Sunday, 27 June, 2021, the week’s activities will be rounded off with church thanksgiving service.