The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has said the anti-narcotics agency will deploy personnel in all 774 local government areas of the country in 2024 as part of efforts to strengthen the war against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking especially in local communities.
Marwa made the pledge while responding to a request for partnership and deployment of more NDLEA officers in all parts of Katsina by the state governor, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, to tame the problem of drug abuse and insecurity in the state.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Friday by Femi Babafemi, the NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy.
According to the statement, Marwa said, “With the Agency’s staff strength expected to rise to 15,000 by the end of the year, the next development was to deploy in the LGAs.
“We currently have zonal commands, state commands, and area commands. We want to go to the LGAs for the offensive action and the advocacy work. We would need more support to succeed. I appreciate the work of the Katsina governor as the challenges are numerous in governing the state. But if insecurity is a problem and is fueled by drugs, I believe we have to collectively take it out of the security equation.”
He commended Governor Radda for his efforts to surmount the various challenges faced and enhance the socio-economic development of the state.
According to him, “The drug menace is a huge issue and has destroyed the lives of our youths and communities. It is the public enemy number one, and especially the criminal aspect of it. 99% of the criminals must first have access to drugs and be under the influence to perpetrate some of their acts. That is why the NDLEA under the collective support of the directorates and the management has put all efforts towards operation ‘offensive action.
“The preventive measure faces those who have not started or are about starting drug use. They are targeted through advocacy and sensitisation across all levels. It is for this reason we structured the WADA initiative from the National to LGA levels.
“We appeal to the government to have a state drug control committee of which the NDLEA will be the secretary and the chairperson would be the First Lady of the state. The first ladies are in the strategic position, because they are the mothers and have the best interest of the government at heart.”
Speaking earlier, Radda said he was at the Agency as part of his government’s efforts to solve the problem of insecurity facing the state.
“This synergy is important and I recognize that the NDLEA has been making a lot of efforts in supporting the government. But we still need more support from the Chairman/Chief Executive to stop the movement of drugs and ensure the arrest and prosecution of dealers in the state. We are appealing for better partnership and synergy to reduce the abuse of drugs, the activities of banditry and trafficking in the state.
“We hope the partnership will go a long way in alleviating the issues of the state and improving the economy,” the governor noted.