Marwa: How NDLEA seized N130bn drugs, cash in one year | Dailytrust

Marwa: How NDLEA seized N130bn drugs, cash in one year

Former military administrator of Lagos and Borno states, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd)
Former military administrator of Lagos and Borno states, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd)

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said it seized cash and illicit drugs worth over N130bn in 2021.

The Chairman/CEO, NDLEA, Brig-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), said this on Monday at a press briefing on the occasion of his one year in office as NDLEA’s helmsman.

He also said that the NDLEA secured 1, 400 convictions within the same period.

Speaking on key achievements, Marwa said this was the easiest part for him because it is also the part of the development in the past year that is well-known to the public.

“We can take solace in the fact that our achievements of 2021 surpassed the records of any given year of the past 30 years. In drug supply reduction, our interdiction efforts yielded unparalleled results, which as of December 31, 2021, are arrests of 12, 306 suspects, including seven drug barons.

“Conviction of 1,400 offenders; pending 1,502 cases in court; seizure of over 3.4m kilograms of assorted drugs; drugs and cash seized worth over N130bn; 406 hectares of Cannabis farms destroyed; contributions to the Consolidated Account through asset forfeiture; and 7,761 drug users counselled and rehabilitated in NDLEA facilities,” Marwa said.

He also said that a special task force is currently working across the country to track and dismantle drug cartels behind the production and distribution of methamphetamine, popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri, being abused by youths in parts of the country.

He challenged communities across Nigeria to take ownership of the war against drug abuse as those in South East states are doing by standing up to those engaging in abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs.

“If you look at the preponderance of the dealers in drugs, I am not saying anything new but the South East has the predominance and that is a fact. But what more do you have; the greatest efforts by communities to rid the country and their communities of drug use is from the South East.

“And more importantly, they are riding their communities of drug abuse, they have taken the ownership of the war themselves against drug abuse especially the Mkpuru-Mmiri. By the way, we have set up a special task force to face that challenge and very soon you would hear and see the results of our efforts.

“In essence, what I am saying is that, I am now taking the South East as an example, for all the other communities in Nigeria. This war has to start from the bottom, from the communities; set up your War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), Committees,” Marwa said.

Her added, “In every community, you are the ones who know those patent medicine stores that sell drugs, the mai shayi, those at the corner ends of the streets who sell and hawk drugs, you know the traffickers and you know those who use them.

“Take this war to your communities because you know these people, cleanse your communities, and take the ownership of this war and the NDLEA will always be there to back you up.

“However, the NDLEA does not and will not support the flogging of the culprits and some of the other human rights abuses. We will be there to support with counseling and treatments. And I urge the entire country to take an example of the ownership of the war against drug abuse from the South East.”

He also attributed the successes recorded in the drug war in the past year to God, support of President Muhammadu Buhari, National Assembly, Minister of Justice and other stakeholders including international partners such as UNODC, EU, and foreign governments as well as local CSOs and NGOs.

While promising to build on the foundation laid in 2021, Marwa said the agency under his leadership now has a clear roadmap to the future.

He said, “The Agency has come a long way. And there is still a long way to go. We have a clear vision of where we are headed, and there is a roadmap to that destination. Today, the improvement in our fortune as an organisation is driving the NDLEA workforce to continue to push for the attainment of organisational goals and fulfillment of our core mandate of securing our country against the drug scourge.

“We all believe in the vision of the new NDLEA and we are committed to its mission. Our mandate is to ensure a drug-free Nigeria. We shall continue to play our role towards the achievement of that goal.”

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