Newly appointed Chairman/CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, General Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd), on Monday resumed at the headquarters of the organisation in Abuja with a strong warning to drug barons and traffickers to back out of the illicit trade or be ready for hard times.
Marwa spoke at a meeting with the Management Team of the agency.
He said: “I would like to warn those who engage in the dastardly trade of importation, export, cultivation, processing, manufacture, trafficking, sale, and consumption of illicit substances to stop forthwith or be prepared to contend with the NDLEA.
“The NDLEA will safeguard the nation and our youths from the drug menace.
“That is a task that must be done.
“It is the task of NDLEA to stop all this unacceptable nonsense of drug abuse in Nigeria.
“Together, by the grace of God, we will resuscitate and reposition NDLEA to full active life, to be effective, respected and feared by the concerned criminals.
“Nigeria is the only country we have.
“We cannot fold our arms.
“We can, will and must eliminate the drug scourge.”
While condemning a situation where drug use has eaten very deep into the nation’s social fabric with over 15 million Nigerians of all ages now hooked on drug, Marwa said: “NDLEA will be overhauled and expanded in line with the PACEDA recommendations, existing financial constraints, and the authorisation of the appropriate superior authorities.
“We will put equal efforts in drug demand reduction as contained in the NDLEA act.
“We will develop a strategy of work to meet our objectives, following the National Drug Control Masterplan 2021-2025 to be released soon, as our roadmap.”
Marwa assured the staff of the agency that their welfare will be priority, while demanding discipline and dedication to duty from them.
His words: “I want to assure you all that your welfare will be given utmost attention.
“The outstanding issues of stagnation in rank, training and postings and due emoluments, will be addressed as a priority.
“Also operational and logistical inadequacies in the service will be looked into.
“Discipline must remain number one; it is the bedrock of an organisation such as ours.
“With my military background, you know what to expect.”
Marwa, who chaired the Presidential Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse till December 2021, was last week appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as the NDLEA chief executive.