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NDLEA seized 761,000 tonnes of illicit drugs in 3 years — Marwa

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Retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, says the agency seized 761,000 tonnes of illicit drugs and substances between January 2021 and March 2024.

Mr Marwa said this during a special Juma’at service as part of activities to mark the 2024 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the National Mosque in Abuja on Friday.

June 26 every year is set aside to commemorate the day and the theme of the 2024 World Drug Day, WDD, is: “Evidence is Clear, Let Us Invest in Prevention”.

The NDLEA boss said that the 2018 drug use survey showed that 15 million Nigerians abused drugs, saying that it was three times the global average.

Mr Marwa, who described the report as unacceptable said that the aim of the year 2024 World Drug Day, WDD, Campaign was Prevention.

“Money-making is the major reason drug barons are persistent in spite of the efforts of the agency to curb to the barest minimum drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

“When you look at the population of Nigeria and you take out 15 million, it means the rest are not.

“We don’t want even a single Nigerian to enter that basket of users.

“We have made seizures in three years of 761,000 tons but they still keep coming and we have to look at the other side.

“Now, assuming we didn’t seize it, were will it be? it will be on the streets and the money would have been used for very negative purposes or it would have gone to the criminals.

“We are doing our level best, supported by the government to make sure the supply reduction is very effective,” he said.

Speaking further, Mr Marwa said that prevention was very important in dealing with drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking, adding that the agency had recommended a two track approach.

He said that the first and most important track was global which was the entire society, all fragments, beginning with the family, parenting, adding that the children should be taught as they grow up why drug use was bad.

“We have children killing their parents. So in anyway, parentage and parenting is also important.

“Most important is the community level, the traditional institution, religious bodies, both christian and Muslim should include in their sermons and the advocacy in the school system and the curriculum.

“There should be random drug tests. For instance, we have promoted drug tests for students, tertiary institutions and drug tests before marriage.

“When you go for the wedding, bring the HIV, the genotype and bring drug tests that are negative.

“These are some of the steps on this side. On the other side is to deny availability of drugs and access. You have to have drugs first to abuse it.

“And it’s our job as NDLEA to launch operations to seize drugs, arrest the offenders, take them to court, and seize their assets as well,“ he said.

NAN

 

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