Focus on Naira Marley's message: NDLEA replies critics


Naira Marley

The spokesperson for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Femi Babafemi, has told critics to focus on the message of Naira Marley.

Babafemi dropped the advice in response to the criticisms that trailed a video of Naira Marley’s visit to NDLEA’s headquarters in Abuja.

Naira Marley visits NDLEA office
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) with music star, Naira Marley

In the video, Naira Marley who is well known for drug abuse, was captured advising youths to stop taking illicit substances.

Defending the actions of NDLEA, Babafemi confirmed that the agency intentionally enlisted the controversial artiste for its drug abuse advocacy.

Babafemi said, “It is an advocacy engagement with him. It is what we do as part of the responsibilities of the agency to promote advocacy messages that would discourage people from substance abuse. It is about the message.

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“Don’t forget that he has a lot of young followers— Marlians— that look up to him. The idea is for the leader of the movement (Marlians) to come out and ask people to stop substance abuse, and live a new life.”

The drug agency’s spokesperson also noted that using Marley as an advocate did not mean that the agency won’t arrest him if he was caught with illegal substances. He said, “Last year, we arrested some of his artistes (Zinoleesky and Mohbad). That is to show that we are not closing our eyes. If the same Naira Marley is caught with illicit substances tomorrow, he will face sanctions.”

One of the people who had criticised the choice of Naira Marley was actress, Tonto Dikeh.

She wrote on social media, “NDLEA, you are looking like a disgrace. This is not an insult, but this is from a daughter of the soil speaking out on your misconduct.

“I don’t involve myself in rubbish, especially that of other people. This, I must say, is the biggest embarrassment from any government agency/drug law enforcement agency. I would like to say more, but I’ll wait for NDLEA to pick me up for an interview/drug test/or just a chat. You know my address. I ask you to do it respectfully; otherwise we’ll have a problem. And, if I am replied I would gladly respond disrespectfully.”

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