Christopher Musa, the Chief of Defence Staff, reaffirmed the Nigerian military’s commitment to enhancing collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to tackle the pervasive issue of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking within the nation. This pledge was made during Musa’s visit to Buba Marwa, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja. Buba Marwa praised the unwavering dedication, immense sacrifices, and relentless efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces in safeguarding the nation while acknowledging the exceptional leadership of the CDS.
Marwa expressed gratitude towards the military’s assistance in terms of logistical and training aid, acknowledging their valuable support to the agency. He underscored the importance of the strong alliance between the military and NDLEA, highlighting substance abuse as the underlying cause of crimes and unlawful activities nationwide. The criminal underworld heavily depends on drugs to execute their illicit activities, which is why they have launched a relentless campaign to restrict access and availability of these illegal substances, reflecting their relentless determination to combat the trade.
Significant progress has been recorded in the agency’s efforts.
He mentioned that during a span of three years, their actions have led to the apprehension of 42,105 individuals involved in drug-related crimes, including 46 high-ranking criminals. Additionally, they successfully confiscated about 7,500 tons of illicit substances, demolished 1,057 hectares of cannabis cultivation, and convicted 8,350 perpetrators. Furthermore, they extended counselling and rehabilitation services to 29,400 individuals engaged in drug abuse. Consequently, he encouraged the military to consider building a central institute for rehabilitation and establishing specialized treatment amenities within their current military hospitals devoted to addressing the needs of their personnel grappling with substance abuse problems.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Staff admired Marwa and his team’s remarkable transformation in the battle against drugs. This noteworthy turnaround has effectively altered the unfavourable image of Nigeria within the global space. Additionally, he pledged unrelenting backing from the Armed Forces for NDLEA in their revitalized campaign to combat substance misuse as well as illegal trade. According to him, the agency’s initiatives have driven the armed forces to implement mandatory drug testing for both training purposes and promotion criteria. The relationship between its abuse and insecurity, he stated, should not be underestimated. He added that by effectively addressing the challenge of substance abuse, the prevailing security concerns in the country would be considerably diminished.
A dedicated rehabilitation centre will be built as recommended.
In addition, he emphasized the importance of addressing the menace comprehensively and expressed his willingness to consider the recommendation made by the head of the NDLEA for the military to establish a dedicated rehabilitation centre. He acknowledged their deep understanding of the issues and the detrimental impact of illicit usage on Nigeria reputation. Nigeria is mostly associated with drugs in foreign discussions. However, he and his team have successfully managed to alter this perception. Currently, their efforts in tackling the drug problem in Nigeria have taken shape. This task is undeniably challenging due to the numerous individuals who have greatly profited from it and are willing to go to any lengths to maintain their illegal enterprises.
They express immense pride in their accomplishments and pledge unwavering assistance until the complete eradication of related issues within the nation. The widespread has infiltrated numerous realms, even the members of the Armed Forces. As a way to enhance their recruitment procedures and promote professional development among their employees, the organization has implemented mandatory drug testing. This is aimed at guaranteeing that individuals within the Armed Forces adhere to appropriate conduct and possess the optimal mental state. Consequently, this practice will persist and be further reinforced to enhance their initiatives.
Abuse poses a threat to the user’s life and society.
Lastly, the increasing number of arrests and global awareness attests to Nigeria’s commendable efforts in tackling the said problem. In the North East, Theatre Commanders have personally witnessed its detrimental impact, transforming individuals who may be incapable of wielding a knife into carriers of heavy weaponry like the GPMG. Consequently, it imparts a deceiving sense of empowerment to its users, gradually leading them down an addictive path. Once ensnared by addiction, they not only endanger their own lives but also pose a threat to the safety and well-being of those in their immediate circle.