Mohammed Buba Marwa, a former military governor of Lagos state, has assumed office as the new chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Speaking at an inaugural meeting with the management and staff of the agency on Monday in Abuja, Marwa said the NDLEA will be “resuscitated” to deal with drug peddlers.
The chairman noted that drug abuse has eaten “very deep” into the Nigerian society, adding that every community in the country is affected.
While describing drug abuse as “unacceptable nonsense”, the retired brigadier-general said a roadmap that would guide the agency will soon be released.
“It is the task of NDLEA to stop all these unacceptable nonsense of drug abuse in Nigeria,” he said, adding “As the lead agency in the drug war in Nigeria, you are all too familiar with the extent of devastation that drug use has caused our nation. Drug use has eaten very deep into our social fabric. Every community in Nigeria is affected.
“It needs repeating that the number of drugs users in Nigeria now, of all ages must be well over 15 million.
“If we extrapolate the figures of the recent UNODC survey of 2018 where 14.3 million Nigerians between the ages of 15 to 64 years were found to be drug users, at that time, nearly three times the global prevalence.
“We will resuscitate NDLEA to be fully active, to be effective, respected and be feared by all concerned criminals. Nigeria is the only country we have; we cannot fold our arms. We can, will and must eliminate the drug scourge.”
Marwa also warned peddlers to desist from dealing in illicit drugs.
“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 NDLEA,” he said.
“NDLEA will safeguard the nation and our youths from the drug menace.”