From Godwin Tsa Abuja
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State has solicited the support of both federal and state governments in the war against illicit drugs and other banned substances.
This comes as the Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (retd) disclosed that the agency has intercepted over N60 billion worth of drugs within a six-week period.
Governor Fintiri noted that given the dangers posed by the consumption of hard drugs and other illicit substances, it is important for government at all levels to join hands with the NDLEA in the war against the menace of drug abuse before the scourge destroys Nigeria.
According to a statement by the Director Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, the governor made the call on Monday when he received Marwa, who paid him a courtesy visit while on a familiarisation and assessment tour of the state command of the agency.
The statement added that ‘while thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Gen Marwa to lead the war against drugs in the country, Governor Fintiri said, “as our son and leader in Adamawa, we are proud of your achievements within the short period of coming on board. You have demonstrated capacity as a full army general by carrying out this assignment for the good of Nigeria.”‘
He promised to continue to support the drug war by building a rehabilitation centre for the Agency and creating drug control committees in all the 21 local government areas of the state.
According to him, ‘there can’t be any better time than now for governments at all levels to join hands with NDLEA and get involved in the war to kill the menace of drug abuse, otherwise the scourge will destroy the country because all the crimes ranging from insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, rape and others thrive on drug abuse. This means NDLEA is very central to the survival of the country and as such, I want to appeal to President Buhari for appropriate funding of the Agency so that it can function appropriately.’
Speaking earlier, Gen Marwa commended the governor for his support for the state command of the agency and pleaded for more because of the enormity of the problem.
‘In the last six weeks, we have been able to seize over N60 billion worth of drugs across the country, this is huge and enormous. The recent seizure of over 230 tons of cannabis in Edo state alone is the largest in the history of NDLEA and this has been made possible through our maxim, which is, offensive action and the renewed commitment of our personnel,’ he stated.
Addressing leaders of the Muslim Council of Adamawa State after leaving the Government House, the NDLEA boss told them the agency has been doing a lot in the renewed fight against drug abuse but said it can’t do it all alone and as such needs the support of religious leaders.
‘Unless we take drastic steps against drug abuse, the scourge is capable of destroying our country and because we have no other country other than Nigeria, we need the support of our religious leaders to prevent our youths and women from getting into drugs. We need you, in your sermons, lectures to talk to our people while we continue to do our best to cut drug supply, ensure demand reduction through preventive strategies,’ he added.
In his response, Chairman of the Council, Malam Gambo Jika, said given the damage drug is doing in North America, Nigeria cannot afford to wait until the current situation gets worse. While promising to mobilise the Islamic community in the state to support the work of NDLEA, Malam Jika said ‘everybody knows your capacity that you deliver on any assignment and we have no doubt that you will succeed in your current work.’
Gen Marwa thereafter visited the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Barkindo Mustapha, to seek the partnership of the traditional institution and support of the emirate to create drug control committees in every community in the state because of the enormous influence of the monarch not only in Nigeria but also beyond the shores of the country.
The NDLEA also met with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state during which he sought the support of the clerics. Chairman of CAN in the state Bishop Dammy Mamza assured him that all Christians in the state would support the agency in its war against drug abuse.
He later held another meeting with the leaders of NURTW, RTEAN, tankers drivers, PSN, ACPN and other stakeholders at the state Command of the agency after which he met with officers and men of the Command.