Efforts to mobilise more support for the on-going war against illicit drug trafficking and abuse in the country received a boost from the Armed Forces on Thursday when the Chief of Defence Staff, General. Leo Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Azee Gambo and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, in separate meetings pledged to support the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to achieve its goal of ridding Nigeria of narcotics.
The military chiefs made the commitments when the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd.) led a team of his management officers to pay them advocacy visit at their headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
According to a statement issued by Femi Babafemi, NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Marwa, while meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, commended the Armed Forces for their sacrifice, patriotism and gallantry to keep the nation safe and secure. He expressed the Agency’s appreciation of the collaboration and support from the military. He added that the visit was to seek more ways to strengthen the existing partnership with the armed forces.
“There’s no doubt that illicit drugs fuel and enhance criminalities, hence the need for more collaboration; a partnership that is mutually beneficial because when the problem of drugs is taken out of the security challenge equation, the military will have less to do in tackling terrorism, banditry and kidnapping”, he stated.
He called for the adoption of drug test within the services and more support in the areas of intelligence sharing, training, logistics and operational back up.
In his response, Gen. Irabor commended Gen. Marwa for his laudable achievements within a short time of assuming leadership of NDLEA.
While stating that the military is willing to accede to Marwa’s requests, the Chief of Defence Staff said, “the work of NDLEA needs to be sustained and supported because we’ll have less to contend with if the drug issue is largely resolved and taken care of”.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chief of Army Staff noted that “we’ve always supported NDLEA and will continue to do so because we’ll like to be associated with the successes you are recording in the Agency.” He added that drug trafficking is a grave one and offenders deserve stiffer punishment to serve as deterrence. He assured that there’s a standing instruction to army formations to always support NDLEA operations.
Similar promises were made by the Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff, who both promised logistics support in the areas agreed upon as well as collaboration.