From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen Muhammadu Buba Marwa, has solicited the support of the Nigerian Army in tackling the menace of drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria.
He said the country was currently under a drug siege with about 15 million youths affected by the effect of drugs.
The NDLEA boss made this known when he visited the Chief of Army Staff(COAS), Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, at the Army headquarters in Abuja.
Marwa, while noting that drug plays a major role in the insecurity challenges of the country, said nobody in their right mind just decides to abducted 300 school children, suggesting the influence of drugs.
He said that the criminals be they insurgents, kidnappers, bandits use drugs as motivation to perpetrate their acts, adding that this has proven to be true as many bandit camps destroyed by soldiers have been found to be infested with remnant of drugs.
‘As the military operations are ongoing, we need to concurrently address the drug situation which is our task in the NDLEA,’ he said.
‘Unless these two go together, it could take longer for the insecurity to be speedily brought to a favorable conclusion.
We need more fire power and I am happy to say that at has been very supportive in our operations and I will like to reiterate the need for this partnership.
‘We have also been recently arresting traffickers to Boko Haram and I want to assure that we will continue to drive home the attack.
Welcoming the NDLEA boss to the Army headquarters, Gen Attahiru said the Nigerian Army would continue to support the NDLEA in the drug fight, saying that Army would synergise with the agency.
Gen Attahiru said that findings have shown that proceeds from illicit drugs are being used to fund organised violent crime, adding that he had zero tolerance for drug abuse.
In a related development, the Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Air Vice Marshal Ebenezer Alade, has called for the support of the Nigerian Army in the area of accommodation to increase the number of its intake of officers to the College.
Air Vice Marshal Alade, who made the appeal when he visited the COAS at his office in Abuja, informed the Army Chief of his plans to expand the curriculum of the College to be able to award Masters degrees among other programmes offered by the triservice training institution.
Gen Attahiru, in his response assured the Commandant of the Army’s commitment to continue to support and collaborate with the College to fulfill its mandate.