Efforts to mobilise more support for the ongoing war against illicit drug trafficking and abuse in the country received a boost from the Armed Forces on Thursday when the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, and the service chiefs met with Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd).
According to a statement by the NDLEA’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, Gen. Marwa led a team of his management officers to pay the service chiefs an advocacy visit at their headquarters in Abuja.
While meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Marwa commended the Armed Forces for their sacrifice, patriotism and gallantry to keep the nation safe and secure.
He expressed the agency’s appreciation for the collaboration and support from the military.
Marwa added that the visit was to seek more ways to strengthen the existing partnership with the armed forces.
“There’s no doubt that illicit drugs fuel and enhance criminalities, hence the need for more collaboration; a partnership that is mutually beneficial because when the problem of drugs is taken out of the security challenge equation, the military will have less to do in tackling terrorism, banditry and kidnapping,” he stated.
The NDLEA boss called for the adoption of drug tests within the services and more support in the areas of intelligence sharing, training, logistics and operational backup.
In his response, Gen. Irabor commended Gen. Marwa for his laudable achievements within a short time of assuming leadership of NDLEA.
While stating that the military is willing to accede to Marwa’s requests, the Chief of Defence Staff said, “the work of NDLEA needs to be sustained and supported because we’ll have less to contend with if the drug issue is largely resolved and taken care of.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Farouk Yahaya, noted that “we’ve always supported NDLEA and will continue to do so because we’ll like to be associated with the successes you are recording in the agency.”
The army chief added that drug trafficking is a grave one and offenders deserve stiffer punishment to serve as deterrence.
He assured that there’s a standing instruction to army formations to always support NDLEA operations.
Similar promises were made by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Azee Gambo and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao who both promised logistics support in the areas agreed upon as well as collaboration.