By Mahmud Isa Yola
It is no longer a secret that the Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rted), has proven to be the new sheriff in town.
Nigeria has witnessed the rise of a new spirit in the anti-narcotics agency with a resolute to taking the war on illicit drugs to the doorsteps of drugs barons.
In less than two months in office, the NDLEA under the able leadership of General Marwa has confiscated illicit drugs worth over N60 billion from drug barons and suppliers attempting to smuggle or transport the drugs into or out of the country.
Drug addiction is a global phenomenon and drug war should be a source of concern to all Nigerians. No family in Nigeria is immune to the effects of drug abuse. It is right in front of us.
The menace has obliterated a significant portion of our youth’s potential. Many lives have been destroyed by hard drugs. It has shattered families and wreaked havoc on society.
It’s hard to overstate the connection between drug abuse and criminal behaviours – Boko Haram, pirates, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other criminal masterminds – use hard drugs to carry out their murderous actions against Nigeria’s law-abiding people.
On assumption to office, General Marwa issued marching orders to men and officers of the agency on his first day at the Headquarters.
The retired army general tasked them with combating the opioid addiction epidemic that is posing a serious threat to the country.
He didn’t just issue marching orders; he also promised his men that he would re-establish the agency’s reputation.
Marwa then formed a harmonization committee to look into discrepancies in the agency in areas of rank stagnation, promotion, and other issues bedevilling the agency a few days later. This move boosts the morale and vigour of the men and officers of the agency.
Marwa’s leadership at the NDLEA ushered in a new era in Nigeria’s war against substance abuse. On a regular basis, we see illicit drugs dealers arrested.
The use of hard drugs is being curtailed as smuggled drugs are intercepted everyday, cannabis farms destroyed; and the availability of hard drugs and opioids has been drastically reduced.
Marwa during a presentation at the Nigerian Defence College said “For every kilogram of hard drug seized is one kilogram less in society”.
Beside pushing to cut off supply of illicit drugs in Nigeria, Marwa is also concern about the addicts.
Recently during the commissioning of a rehabilitation centre constructed by a non-governmental organization in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, he spoke passionately about the need for establishment of rehabilitation centres across the country, noting that it will build hope and help to reintegrate drug addicts to the main stream in the society.
When you look at a drugs addict’s life, you will notice that beside their irrational attitudes and actions, they are helpless towards their condition.
To restore hope in them, there is need for organised support to help them like the establishment of rehab centres.
General Marwa is unequivocal on his stance in fight against substance abuse in Nigeria.
He has repositioned NDLEA that drugs barons and traffickers are being apprehended on a regular basis.
Nigeria is indeed at the verge of triumph in its war against illicit drugs.
Isa Yola is the Special Assistant to Brig. General MB Marwa (rted) on Social Media.