*‘Anyone who stands in its front will be crushed’
*Proposes drug test for all tertiary students, government appointees
*Says growth of drug use responsible for upsurge in kidnapping, terrorism, cultism, rape
By Kingsley Omonobi —ABUJA
Chairman/CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa(rtd) has charged Commanders of the Agency to brace up or move out, as tackling the drugs war under his leadership will be like a moving train which will crush anyone who stands on its front.
“It is not going to be business as usual. It is a moving train. Please, let no body stand in its front. The train will crush any such person.
“To be forewarned is to be fore armed. To the unbending drug crime perpetrators, I would like to let them know also that the game is up.
“It is high time they embraced another trade. The Federal Government Policy on Agriculture is a window for them to leverage on,” he added.
Marwa, who was addressing Commanders from the 36 states and FCT as well as Commanders in all the nations’ international airports, gave a marching order to the NDLEA Commanders to mop up illicit drugs across the country.
He said: “We need not be told of the nexus between drug use, crime and criminalities as the exponential growth of the nefarious drug activities can be directly linked to the upsurge in crimes such as insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, cultism, political thuggery, gangsterism, rape and other maladaptation bedeviling today’s Nigeria.
“We will be fair but firm in this war. Our maxim will be offensive action. This means we must go all out constantly on the offensive against the bad guys. The success we make of this particular task goes a long way to determine the socio-economic stability of the nation.”
The Chairman also hinted of plans to seek government’s approval to conduct drug tests on tertiary institutions’ new students, security agencies’ fresh recruits and all newly appointed government employees.
Disclosing that he’s honoured and proud to serve as Chairman of NDLEA, he said: “All Commanders must be desirous of keeping drugs out of Nigerian streets and homes, and so all of you must shape up and get all those engaged in the nefarious business to face the music, and I need results from now on.”
Towards ensuring that results are achieved, Gen Marwa said he would soon come out with a system of passing out information to the NDLEA without the informants’ lives being put at risk, pointing out that this system worked wonders during the days of “Operation Sweep” against armed robbers and criminality in Lagos State.
Continuing, Marwa said he would put more efforts on drug demand reduction as part of plans to eradicate the scourge in Nigeria.
His words: “While strengthening our enforcement activities, we will equally devout a lot of efforts to prevention, treatment and after care and focus on family/parenting, community, school systems, advocacy to all groups through traditional institutions, religious bodies, media, NGOs, CSOs, State and local governments among others. We will rehabilitate our rehab centres; make them functional while more will be built.”
He said he would soon propose to the government “the necessity for drug tests for all tertiary institutions resuming students, NYSC members, new workers, all security agencies new recruits and random tests for government appointees. NDLEA is ready to help and we must help.”
While expressing his determination to run with the “National Drug Control Master Plan” he said, “Our Road Map” would include the establishment of toll free call centers/help lines.
“These will soon be set up for the use of Nigerians ready to give information or seek intervention from the agency.
“Ours is a national assignment. Drug has littered everywhere; every community. We will lead the fight and we will succeed. Make no mistake about it, it’s a collective effort,” he told the commanders.
He assured them that their welfare is a priority to him, noting that the suspended training of newly-recruited personnel would soon resume once appropriate clearance from relevant authorities is secured.
“Issues of welfare of staff of the agency are of paramount importance and urgency. It will be tackled.
“I’m aware there are no barracks, which is not conducive for your line and kind of duty. This as well as operational and logistics issues will be looked into,” he assured them.