4th October, 2010
Politicians in the country who intend to use money from illicit drug trade to actualiseÂ their ambition in the 2011 general elections will be caught and prosecuted, the NationalÂ Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has warned.
NDLEAâ€™s Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, said that it is part of the agencyâ€™s contribution towardsÂ ensuring INEC conducts credible polls in Nigeria next year.
The NDLEA boss in a paper titled The Role of the NDLEA in the Promotion of GoodÂ Governance for National Security, he presented during the just concluded Defence andÂ National Security Week at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS)Â Kuru, Jos, Plateau State, called on Nigerians to understand the dangers of drugÂ trafficking in the country.
â€œThe consequences of cultivation, processing or manufacturing, packaging, smuggling,Â retailing and peddling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are disastrous. OurÂ task therefore is to consciously checkmate the activities of drug barons through fearlessÂ and unflinching commitment to drug control policies,â€ said Giade, who was represented byÂ Hamza Umar, the agencyâ€™s Commander at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA,Â Lagos, South West Nigeria.
As 2011 draws near, Giade said, all efforts to check activities of drug cartels must beÂ intensified. â€œIllicit proceeds of drug deals are lethal arsenal in the hands ofÂ criminals. It is capable of destabilising national economic plans as well as frustratingÂ monetary and fiscal control, thus leading to poverty, underdevelopment and anarchy.Â Assets derived from illicit drug trade can be used to influence political decisions andÂ overthrow legitimate governments.â€
This, he noted, could be done through electoral campaign donations and other forms ofÂ monetary inducement. Drug barons who successfully channel their resources in politics mayÂ exert overbearing influence over candidates and officials who are their beneficiaries.
â€œDrug merchants would wield both political and economic powers thereby making strictÂ control and enforcement of regulations against trade in narcotics and psychotropicÂ substances very difficult. These are the conditions that more or less prevail inÂ countries having serious drug problem,â€ he said.