The chairman/chief executive officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd) has called on all leaders and stakeholders in the country to see the urgent need to rid Nigeria of drug scourge.
Marwa who spoke in Ibadan, Oyo State yesterday as chairman at the public presentation of a book: Victory in defeat, written by Brig. Gen. Larinde Laoye (rtd), said, “Leaders at all levels must attach some urgency to the need to rid our society of the drug menace. That is why we are advocating a new social order where drug test becomes the norm for couples as part of the wedding rites, for students as a continuous process starting from admission into tertiary institutions and for government employees as part of the employment process and periodic validation of their employment.”
Speaking on why it’s expedient to awaken the consciousness of the audience and indeed all Nigerians to the urgent need for them to support the NDLEA in its effort to save the country from the menace of abuse and trafficking of illicit substances, Gen. Marwa said it was to safeguard the future of Nigeria.
He added, “It is our wish that our younger generation should follow the illustrious path of Gen Laoye. But I want us all to be aware that the drug situation prevalent in our society today will make such an achievement difficult for a lot of young people. Our record at the NDLEA in the first five months of this year calls for sober reflection: over 5, 000 arrests; over 3, 000 charged to court with more than 500 convictions; 2,772 individuals were counselled and treated for drug-related problems. More than two million kilograms of assorted drugs were seized and over N90 billion worth of drugs and cash recovered. These statistics are alarming and are red flags about the need to safeguard the future of the young generation.”
While reminding the gathering of the need for Nigerians to unite on all fronts, he said, “We came from all the corners of this vast country of ours, north, east and west, united in a common purpose to honour our brother and felicitate with an illustrious citizen. In our common fellowship here today, there is no room for ethnicity, religious bias or political differences.
We are here as one big family, as a microcosm of Nigeria. At a time we daily hear of discordant tunes in the political firmament of our dear country, here we are gathered as one people; if nothing else, this occasion is an attestation that our perceived irreconcilable differences are but mere optics that are artificial and transient. That is one big lesson we should take away from this occasion today.”
Recalling his fond memories of the author, the NDLEA chairman said “Brig Gen. Larinde Laoye (retd) and I have a common frame of reference that inspires seamless reminiscence of our years at the Nigerian Military School, NMS, Zaria, where our paths first crossed, and later at the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, and during our military career in the Nigerian Army. I have crossed paths with many people, but memories about Brig Gen. Larinde Laoye are especially evergreen because he is an exceptional and unforgettable figure.”