Nigeria Launches National Campaign Against Drug Trafficking

Information & Culture Ministry, NDLEA To Launch Campaign Against Drug  Trafficking, Illicit Drugs - Swift Reporters

Richard Ginika Izuora

The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is working in concert with

the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to launch a national

campaign against drug trafficking and illicit use of drugs in the

country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,

disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday when he received the Chairman of

the NDLEA, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), on a courtesy visit to his

office.

“The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture will work with you to

give maximum publicity to your activities, especially in the area of

advocacy. To date, we have launched a number of national campaigns. It

will not be a bad idea for the Ministry, working with the NDLEA, to

launch a national campaign against drug trafficking and use of illicit

drugs.

“I will also encourage the NDLEA to work with the National Orientation

Agency (NOA), which has set up Integrity Clubs in Secondary Schools

nationwide, to reach the young ones with its campaign against drug

use,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said the war against illicit drugs and tackling drug

trafficking is one of the most important tasks in Nigeria today,

considering that drug trafficking, money laundering by traffickers and

the use of illicit drugs are closely linked to the nation’s security,

well being of the citizens, the moral fabric of the society and even

governance.

“It is common knowledge that drug money can be used to finance

insurgency and terrorism. A successful fight against drug trafficking

will therefore help to deny or reduce funding for insurgency.

“The kind of vicious banditry and kidnapping for ransom that our

country has witnessed in recent times cannot be totally separated from

illicit drug use and their effects on users who take to crime.” he

said.

The Minister said even governance is not spared from the drug scourge,

as drug traffickers and money launderers contest and win elections

into high offices where they help shape policies, while noting that

drug traffickers sometimes end up becoming role models in society,

with devastating consequences for the young ones.

Alhaji Mohammed commended the NDLEA Chairman for recording impressive

achievements in less than three months of his appointment,

particularly in restoring the visibility of the Agency for local and

international partnerships, boosting the morale and confidence of

staffers, attracting international support and the ‘offensive action’

against drug cartels that has led to the arrest of 2,175 drug

traffickers, seizure of 2,050,765.33 kilogrammes of illicit drugs as

well as cash and drug seizures worth N75 billion.

In his remarks, the NDLEA Chairman, Gen. Marwa (Rtd), said drug abuse

has assumed an alarming proportion in Nigeria, which, he said, has about 15

million drug users between the age bracket of 15 and 64, 25% of whom

are females.

Gen. Marwa, who corroborated the Minister’s observation that drug

abuse has been fueling insecurity in the country, said the agency had

arrested two traffickers from Niger Republic and Chad, who confessed

to supplying illicit drugs to bandits.

He sought the collaboration of the ministry and its agencies to launch

a nationwide public sensitization on drug demand reduction drive

through advocacy programmes in the media in order to curb drug abuse

in the country.

Gen. Marwa commended the Minister for the excellent work he has been

doing, along with the agencies under him, ”to promote the good work

of the Federal Government and the country as a whole”.

“The confidence and versatility of the Minister on issues of

governance and information management have never been in doubt,” the

NDLEA Chairman said.

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