By Victor Emeruwa
32 years after the establishment of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), it appears the agency is on a renewed offensive to push back the brutal rise in the incidences of illicit substances abuse and high rate of drug trafficking in Nigeria.
In a much visible effort to cut the rising menace of illicit drug use and trafficking, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Mohammed Buba Marwa has uncovered mind bugging data, facts and figures which could have only been imagined.
In his five months as head of NDLEA, the agency has documented high profile arrests and seizures not recorded in its recent history. Within Marwa’s five months in office, over 2,180 drug traffickers have been arrested, these include five drug barons on the agency’s watch-list, about 2.05million kilograms of drugs were intercepted and seized across the country, 2,100 offenders have been prosecuted with about 500 jailed by the courts and an estimated N90billion in cash and seizure value.
These impressive feats are beyond the numbers, considering the rising spate of substance abuse induced crimes such as kidnapping, gang armed robberies and rape may have worsened if the seized 2.05million kilograms of illicit drugs had made their ways into the public space.
At a day set aside by the United Nations to promote campaign against illegal drug use, the NDLEA is launching a pragmatic plan to end the already disturbing drug abuse situation in the country. The 26th of June is the day for annual commemoration of the United Nations International Day Against illicit Drug Abuse and illicit Drug Trafficking.
Today the NDLEA launches its “War Against Drug Abuse and National Drug Control Masterplan -2021-2025”, an action packed document containing strategies to curb the abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs in Nigeria.
The 2021 theme: “Share Fact and Save lives” recognises information and data an invaluable component of the war against illicit drug use and trafficking.
“The enormity of the danger of drug abuse calls for an urgent need to nip the problem in the bud. This is the reason we have redoubled our efforts in the past five months with the maxim of offensive action” said Marwa in a statement.