Drug war: NDLEA ‘ll deploy personnel in 774 LGAs in 2024–Marwa

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has said that the anti-narcotics body will deploy personnel in all 774 local government areas of the country in 2024.

He said the action is part of efforts to strengthen the war against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking especially in local communities.

While responding to request for partnership and deployment of more NDLEA officers in all parts of Katsina by the state governor, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda to tame the problem of drug abuse and insecurity in the state, Marwa said,” with the Agency’s staff strength expected to rise to 15,000 by the end of the year, the next “development is to deploy in the LGAs. We currently have zonal commands, state commands, and area commands.

“We want to go to the LGAs for the offensive action and the advocacy work. We would need more support to succeed. I appreciate the work of the Katsina governor as the challenges are numerous in governing the state. But if insecurity is a problem and is fueled by drugs, I believe we have to collectively take it out of the security equation.” He commended Governor Radda for his efforts to surmount the various challenges faced and enhance the socio-economic development of the state.”

According to him, “The drug menace is a huge issue and has destroyed the lives of our youths and communities. It is the public enemy number one, and especially the criminal aspect of it. 99% of the criminals must first have access to drugs and be under the influence to perpetrate some of their acts.

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“That is why the NDLEA under the collective support of the directorates and the management has put all efforts towards operation ‘offensive action.’ This involves going out to seize all drugs cultivated, imported or on the verge of being exported out of the country. Over 6,668 tons of illicit substances have been seized in two years, and we assure that we will continue relentlessly until the streets are clean of drugs. This is the drug supply reduction aspect, where we arrest the perpetrators of the act, and over 36,096 suspects have been arrested and more than 6,043 already prosecuted and convicted within this period.”

He said the other side of the fight is drug demand reduction, which focuses on prevention, treatment and aftercare of drug dependent persons.

“The preventive measure faces those who have not started or are about starting drug use. They are targeted through advocacy and sensitisation across all levels. It is for this reason we structured the WADA initiative from the National to LGA levels. We appeal to the government to have a state drug control committee of which the NDLEA will be the secretary and the chairperson would be the First Lady of the state. The first ladies are in the strategic position, because they are the mothers and have the best interest of the government at heart.

Speaking earlier, Governor Radda said he was at the Agency as part of his government’s efforts to solve the problem of insecurity facing the state.

“It is no longer news that the problem of insecurity has been ongoing for years and insecurity is one of the major issues confronting Katsina state. We receive unpleasant news almost on a daily basis on what has been the issues disturbing the state for a long time. We have taken some needful steps, we set up a Katsina community watch corps with locals to complement the efforts of the conventional security agencies but that is not enough.

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“We decided to reach out to the NDLEA under the leadership of the Chairman/Chief Executive to combine our efforts and synergise to mitigate the effect of insecurity in the state. We must get to the root of the problem, and the root of the problem is drug abuse by the teeming youths in the state. We know that these inhumane acts cannot be committed without the influence of drugs.

“This synergy is important and I recognize that the NDLEA has been making a lot of efforts in supporting the government. But we still need more support from the Chairman/Chief Executive to stop the movement of drugs and ensure the arrest and prosecution of dealers in the state. We are appealing for better partnership and synergy to reduce the abuse of drugs, the activities of banditry and trafficking in the state.

“We hope the partnership will go a long way in alleviating the issues of the state and improving the economy. Once insecurity is reduced, economic activities will be conducted better. I appeal to the NDLEA for this support, and on behalf of the Katsina state government, we appreciate the NDLEA for the work you are doing. We hope this visit enhances a better working relationship between the NDLEA and the state”, the governor noted.

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