Chairman/CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa Rtd has shared some of the successes the anti-drug agency has recorded since he assumed office.
Speaking at the NDLEA national headquarters in Abuja, Marwa said the agency has seized assets and drugs worth N500 billion from barons since he took over in January 2021.
Also revealing that an officer of the agency was killed in Sokoto last week, the NDLEA Chairman warned that unrepentant drug barons and cartels will face tougher times in 2023 if they fail to back out of the illicit drug business.
He said; “The seizure of assets combined with drugs is a rough figure of N500 billion. Of course the value of the drugs is up in smoke because we burn it all.
“One of our officers was killed in action last week. What happens in the various communities is that some of the barons build schools, clinics and they give scholarships. They try to demonstrate to the communities that they are indispensable partners and helpers. So when we go into such communities, they also arm some of their militants. So when we go into these communities for operations, they respond in favour of the barons and we get casualties.
“What is important though is that we never allow any single incident to go unpunished. We never allow any of our personnel killed to be killed in vain. We always go after them.”
On convictions recorded, Marwa said; “Of the conviction figure, 2,346 were recorded in 2022 alone, which is the highest in the history of the Agency and almost doubled the highest ever recorded in the 33 years of NDLEA. This is not happenchance but a result of professionalism, determination, commitment and hard work of our officers, men and women.”
Describing 2022 as an epoch year, Marwa added; “We took a giant leap in drug demand reduction with the establishment and commissioning of the NDLEA drug abuse call centre, which broadened access to treatment and rehabilitation. It was a year we had unprecedented support too, notably from the Governors’ Wives Forum which made commitments to broaden and deepen social efforts to ameliorate the consequences of drug abuse.
“We also had support from our international partners, chiefly the UNODC, counterparts and governments of the United States, France, Germany, United Kingdom, India, and South Korea. The support came in the form of donations of equipment, training, intelligence and other logistics.”