The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Chairman, Brig-Gen, Buba Marwa, has disclosed that no fewer than 2,180 drug traffickers have been arrested in five months moving different drugs across the country and that the agency was intensifying its anti-drug operation in the nation’s 36 states.
He added that during the period under review, operatives of the agency intercepted traffickers and seized over 2 million kilograms of assorted illicit drugs in different parts of the country.
On actions taken against the arrested traffickers, the NDLEA boss said that the anti-drug agency has filed at least 2,100 drug cases in court, recording over 500 convictions with 1,549 cases pending in court.
Addressing a press conference on Monday to unveil a weeklong programme of activities in commemoration of UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking in Abuja, Marwa noted that the arrested traffickers and kilograms of drugs seized have given the agency big insights into the magnitude of the drug problem in Nigeria.
The NDLEA boss also attributed rising kidnapping, insurgency across the country to drug abuse among youth, saying the menace poses danger to future of Nigerian younger generations and that more needed to be done in eradicating issues bordering on drug abuse.
According to him, abuse of narcotics has incapacitated the workforce of organisations and ruined communities and societies. It has brought about family disintegration, decimated the capacities of our youths, and given rise to all types of crimes such as insurgency, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, rape and violent extremism which have befallen nations including our dear country Nigeria with attendant health consequences on the users.
He added that the menace is a hydra-headed monster that must be crushed if Nigeria must move forward as a nation, adding that the solution lies in having hyper-efficient anti-drug machinery, which is what the NDLEA stands for.
According to him, the work ahead is enormous and NDLEA cannot win the drug war without the help of citizens and we need the cooperation of all and sundry as we all owe Nigeria the duty of ensuring that drug abuse and trafficking do not thrive in this country.
“For us all, it is an urgent assignment, because if we must end youth radicalization, violent extremism, cultism, banditry, wanton kidnapping, insurgency, and the like, drug abuse and trafficking must be dealt with a decisive blow. NDLEA must synergize with other law enforcement and sister agencies and stakeholders for maximum impact to win the drug war.
“The simplest contribution that we ask of every patriotic citizen is what is captured by the theme of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking: “Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives.” We in the NDLEA will continue to execute his mandate to fight against the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking,” he assured
Furthermore, he commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and continued demonstration of strong political will to address issues of drug abuse in the country by fully recognising that drug abuse has a direct link to insecurity.