By Mahmud Isa Yola
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rted), has proven to be the new sheriff in town. Nigeria is witnessing the rise of a new National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, a resolute organization that is now taking the war to the barons’ doorsteps.
In less than two months after taking office, the NDLEA has confiscated more than N60 billion worth of illicit drugs from drug barons and suppliers attempting to smuggle or transport the drugs into or out of the country.
Drug addiction is a global problem, and the 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 people’s lives have been destroyed by hard drugs, which have shattered families and wreaked havoc on society. It’s hard to overstate the connection between drug abuse and criminal behavior. 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.
Marwa issued marching orders to NDLEA men and officers 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 rank stagnation, promotion, and other issues bedeviling the agency a few days later. This move is said to have given the Agency hope.
Marwa’s leadership at the NDLEA ushered in a new era in Nigeria’s battle against substance abuse. On a regular basis, we see illicit drug dealers arrested. The use of hard drugs is being curtailed. Every day, smuggled drugs are intercepted. Cannabis farms are being destroyed all over the country. The availability of hard drugs and opioids has been drastically reduced.
Marwa was quoted as saying during a presentation at the Nigerian Defence College that for every kilogram of hard drug seized is one kilogram less in society.
Marwa doesn’t just cut off the supply of drugs; he even confronts the addicts. He recently spoke passionately about the need for rehabilitation centers across the country at a commissioning of a rehabilitation center constructed by a non-governmental organization in Ogbomoso, Oyo state. He said that with more recovery centers, there is hope for drug addicts.
When you look at an addict’s life, you will note not just the irrationality of their attitude and actions, but also their powerlessness over their addiction, and they will have no hope until they obtain organized support.
Marwa is unquestionably making strides in Nigeria’s fight against substance abuse. The NDLEA has been repositioned, and both the barons and traffickers are being apprehended on a regular basis. Nigeria is actually on the verge of triumphing in the war on drugs.
-Mahmud Isa Yola is the Special Assistant to Brig. General MB Marwa (rted) on Social Media.