18th June, 2021
By Maureen Okon
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is set to collaborate towards building more rehabilitation centres in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Gabriel Odu, the Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit of NiDCOM in Abuja.
Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said this on Friday, during a courtesy visit to retired Brig.-Gen. Muhammadu Marwa, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in his office.
Dabiri-Erewa said that with the alarming rate of drug abuse in the country, some Nigerians in the Diaspora had shown interest in building rehabilitation centres across the country but their major challenge is space and land.
According to her, most of them are even willing to offer free counselling services.
She further said that the visit to NDLEA has become expedient against the backdrop of the Zainab Aliyu’s case of May 14, 2019, in Saudi Arabia.
“It would be recalled that Zainab Aliyu was allegedly accused of drug trafficking and consequently sentenced to death but through the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, she was set free. Also set free was Ibrahim Ibrahim.
”The intriguing thing here is that judgement on the matter is yet to be adjudicated, giving room for those culpable walking about freely without let or hindrance.
“The culprits have been apprehended but they are walking about freely. It’s been two years and nothing has been done,” she said.
Zainab Aliyu, who was present during the visit with her sister, appreciated the intervention of President Buhari in her case and also pleaded for justice.
“My case has been in court for over two years and some months now. All I want is justice for me and other victims like me,” she said.
The Chairman, NDLEA, Marwa, commended NiDCOM for its excellent public image and accomplishments within a short period.
He said that he is interested in the case and assured that his office would not relent until justice is served.
Marwa gave the assurances that the airports are now more strict and efforts have been intensified to safeguard innocent citizens.
He added if measures are put in place at the airports, drug-related incidents would be reduced.
Marwa also welcomed NiDCOM’s initiative where Diaspora Nigerians embark on sensitisation and counselling against drug use, abuse and trafficking, especially by young adults.
Commending NiDCOM’s initiative for Diasporans to build more rehabilitation centres across the country, Marwa said that more rehabilitation centres are needed.
“As we seize and prosecute, we should also consider those who abuse substances and find ways to rehabilitate them”, he said.
Marwa also said that President Buhari was keen on drug-demand reduction and has mandated that it should be balanced.