Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier-General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), has described the public destruction of 20 tons of assorted illicit drugs as a further affirmation of the resolve of the anti-narcotic agency to wage a total war against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.
He said this at the public burning of the drugs in Abuja on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by Femi Babafemi, the NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy.
Marwa who was represented at the occasion by the agency’s Secretary, Mr. Shadrach Haruna, stated that the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign of the NDLEA on June 26, 2021, is not just a slogan but a call to civil action by all Nigerians to tackle the flow of illicit drugs in the country.
“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 kilograms of cocaine, 36 kilograms of heroin, 93 kilograms of ephedrine, 60 kilograms 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 kilograms 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,” the statement quoted Marwa as saying.
Marwa noted that the illicit drugs and psychoactive substances were seized by the FCT and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Commands of the Agency. According to him, the event is yet another evidence that the NDLEA is relentless in its effort to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Nigerians.
While stating that the quantity of the drugs being destroyed is a reminder about the magnitude of the drug problem in the country, Marwa said the dire implications of the country’s drug prevalence rate is the reason the new NDLEA under his leadership has doubled down on efforts and now 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 country’s 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.
“With over 10,000 arrests, more than 1,000 jailed, and 5,579 counselled and rehabilitated in 10 months, 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,” Marwa said.
In attendance at the event were the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mallam Mohammad Musa Bello, who was represented by Dr. Abdulateef Bello; Chairman, FCT Council of Chiefs and the Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Baba Adamu Yunusa; heads of security agencies in the FCT as well as Directors and other top officials of the NDLEA.