The Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NALDA), retired Brigadier General Buba Marwa on Friday said the agency has seized drugs worth over N100 billion just as he pointed out that between January and September this year, 1, 630 people involved in drug crimes have been sent to jail.
Marwa, who made the disclosure while speaking with State House Correspondents after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday
Marwa said, “As far as activities in the drug supply reduction sphere is concerned, we have seized drugs worth billions of naira, over N100 billion. Those cash have been sent to the Central Bank and the actual drug themselves, we have sought forfeiture form the courts for destruction.
“Since January, we have jailed 1630 of these shameless criminals and murderers who traffic drugs. We have counselled and rehabilitated over 4000 within our NDLEA facilities the issues of the war against drug abuse cascade down to communities.
“So I briefed the President on the advocacy work that we’re doing across the country structures, state level, local government, communities, the role of traditional institution and NGOs media, what families are expected to do, the school system, the federal ministry of education already is working on curricula, because now kids start taking drugs from primary school, we need to get the root of it.”
The NDLEA Chairman said he also solicited for the building of barracks for Staff of the organization, to protect them and their families from criminals involved in drug trafficking.
“Very importantly, I raised the issue of barracks, the NDLEA has been in existence for 32 years. All other agencies, armed forces, police, customs, immigration, road safety all have estates, and barracks, except the NDLEA, we still don’t have barracks. And now, considering the hazardous nature of the work that we do, the danger in it, we arrest and jail the criminals and then live among them.
“This is an area that I found His Excellency, the President, was very well seized of it and in fact, disclosed, that when you send operatives, to go into the forest, to go after the criminals, they will be encouraged if they knew that their own families are secure in a barracks somewhere.
“So clearly, we got a positive response from the Commander in Chief and we are very grateful for it and we look forward to the execution. As soon as it is practicable, the economy, I’m sure, permitting,” he said.
He further disclosed that he requested more personnel for the agency, to enable it to meet the enormous task it has.
He said: “Another thing we talked about was the issue of recruitment. Considering the size and responsibilities before us and we also again received a listening ear, we are very grateful.”
The NDLEA Chairman used the opportunity to call on those involved in drug-taking or trafficking to shun the habit.
“The last message here to Nigerians is to say no to drugs, if you have not started taking drugs, don’t, if you have started, stop it, if you’re addicted, seek treatment, there’s no shame or stigma, go and get treated.
‘If you have malaria, you go to the hospital, if you have diabetes, you are not ashamed. So drug addiction is a disease like the others, I urge those who are addicted to start going for treatment,” he said.