From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have agreed to collaborate to build more rehabilitation centres in the country.
A statement signed on Friday by Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, the Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa assured of the commission’s readiness to work at this, during a courtesy visit on Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in his office in Abuja.
She disclosed that some Nigerians in the Diaspora have shown interest in building rehabilitation centres across the country and offer free counselling services, following the reported high rate of drug abuse in the country, regretting however that their major challenge was non availability of land.
The NIDCOM Boss explained that the visit to NDLEA has become expedient against the backdrop of the Zainab Aliyu’s case of May 14, 2019 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Recalled that Aliyu was allegedly accused of drug trafficking and consequently sentenced to death but through the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, facilitated by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, she was set free with Ibrahim Ibrahim.
Dabiri-Erewa noted that the intriguing thing was that judgment on the matter is yet to be adjudicated giving room for those culpable walking about freely without led or hindrance.
She added that ”the culprits have been apprehended but they are walking about freely. It’s been two years and nothing has been done.”
Aliyu who was present at the visit with her sister while appreciating the intervention of President Buhari in her case, also pleaded for justice, she said “my case has been in court for over two years and some months now. All I want is justice for me and other victims like me.”
The Chairman, NDLEA, Marwa who commended NiDCOM for its excellent public image and accomplishments within a short period, revealed his interest in the case and assured that his office will not relent until justice is served.
Marwa gave assurances that the airports are now more strict and efforts have been intensified to safeguard innocent citizens and reduce drug related incidence at the airports.
Marwa also welcomed NiDCOM’s initiative where by Diaspora Nigerians embark on sensitisation and counselling against drug abuse, and trafficking especially by young adults and the building of more rehabilitation centres across the country.
According to the the NDLEA boss more rehabilitation centres are needed, “as we seize and prosecute, we should also consider those who abuse substances and find ways to rehabilitate them”, he said.
Marwa also said President Buhari has directed the menace of drug abuse be reduced drastically.