In its determined efforts to rid the country of illicit drugs, the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa on Thursday said that over three million kilograms of drugs have been intercepted and seized by the agency.
Marwa said this during the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) 2021 Annual Lecture and Award Ceremony with topic: “Proliferation Of Drugs, Bane Of Insecurity” which held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos State.
The chairman who was represented by the Commander of Narcotics, Lagos State Command, NDLEA, Mr Callys Alumona, revealed that 10,000 suspects had been arrested and 1,000 convicted in the past 10 months since he assumed duty.
“Collaboration with the press especially CRAN is one of the things that has made my tenure for the last ten months memorable.
“I request that you continue to give the needed support because without information, it will be very difficult for people to know what is wrong with Nigeria in terms of security, drug abuse and drug trafficking.
“For every disposing criminal intentions especially in violent crimes, drug abuse is behind it,” he said.
The chairman said that banditry, rape, gender based violence and kidnapping was a synopsis to the fact that drug abuse was eating deep into the fabrics of Nigeria.
“Even, bandits and terrorists sometimes demand drugs in exchange for persons and they also export drugs in order to get arms to further terrorise us the more.
“It is a person under the influence of drugs that usually commits heinous crimes, therefore, drug abuse and drug trafficking is a war that must be won,” he said.
Marwa said that one security agency alone cannot fight the issue of drug trafficking and drug abuse except we come together to rid Nigeria of this menace in the society.
“Security agencies such as the police, army, navy among others are synergising to ensure that drug proliferation is brought to a minimum in the country as a whole.
“With this, we are sure that the foundations of insecurity will be weakend,” he said.
Marwa said that the police and army recently transferred some arrested suspects to the agency for persecution.
He also said that the agency frequently raided night clubs and many other places to rid hooligans who engage in drug intake before they affect the society negatively.
“We are not stopping only on arrest and seizure but we are also focused in the supply and demand reduction of drugs in the society.
“If we stop the supply reduction then we are making progress,” the chairman said.
Marwa said that President Muhammadu Buhari on June 26, launched the “War Against Drug Abuse” which will be brought to every state to tackle the menace of drug abuse.
“This war is to enlighten the public from the state government down to the local government, to the communities and to the family on the dangers of drug abuse.
“We will further go to secondary schools and market women to preach the gospel of stopping drugs because drug abuse kills and is inimical to growth whether you are poor or rich.
“Therefore, the best is yet to come in terms of eradicating drug abuse in the society,” he said.
The chairman urged the public to come up with information anywhere they see people gathering in the use of drugs.
“This will enable security agencies sweep into action and curtail such gatherings before they impact negatively on the society,” Marwa said.