By Adedapo Adesanya
The President and CEO of the National Drug Control Agency (NDLEA), Mr. Mohamed Buba Marwa, offered a amnesty to those still involved in the illicit drug trade, urging them to turn the page or risk losing their freedom and property in the New Year.
In his New Year’s message, the anti-drug champion said the NDLEA and its staff are entering 2022 with a resolution to rid the country of illicit substances and “continue our aggressive pursuit of drug cartels, barons and traffickers wherever they are. the country or even outside.
He said “given our pedigree in 2021, there should be no doubt about our ability to achieve these stated goals.
“Over the past year, we have ramped up our capabilities and re-energized our anti-narcotics activities. Our efforts have resulted in arrests and bans. This should be a clear signal to all those involved in drug trafficking that the rules of the game have changed.
“In 2022, our goals remain the same: to dismantle the drug cartels and unions, and that includes the arrest and incarceration of drug-addicted offenders by the court and, ultimately, to rid our society of all traces of illicit substances. “
While leaving open a window of repentance for traders, Mr. Marwa said; “There is still a window of opportunity for drug dealers and barons: now is the time for them to turn the page before NDLEA ignites the fire and they lose everything. Since most of them are in the business to amass wealth and now they have made their fortunes through this business which is hurting the society, so now is the time to stop.
“We call on them to think about the common good, to think about the future of this country, to think about young people and future generations. Let common sense prevail, and on your own, make a meaningful contribution to the effort to have a peaceful and harmonious drug-free society.
“We have seen the ravages of illicit drugs due to the ugly development in parts of our country due to drug abuse by young people and also the general scourge caused by cannabis abuse across the country.
“Those who heed this warning will thank themselves for making the wise decision to stop the drug trade in the days to come. Those who think and act differently can be assured of a difficult year in 2022.
“They can learn from what happened in 2021, where the Agency imposed various prison terms on over 1,200 drug traffickers, including nationals of other countries and we brought in six barons from drugs, including those from outside the country and those who had been on the run for as long as 10 years.
While emphasizing Nigeria’s determination to win the war on drugs, Marwa said that with the full support of President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, the judiciary and citizens, NDLEA will spare no effort to fulfill its mandate in 2022.
“In this campaign against drug abuse and illicit substance trafficking, the Agency has 100% public support.
“The presidency supports the NDLEA to the end. Legislators give the Agency the necessary leverage. And in court, as recent developments prove, there is no respite for drug dealers and barons. Likewise, we maintain good relations with international partners.
“Therefore, those who sell illicit substances can be sure that the long arms of the NDLEA will reach them and they will be subject to heavy penalties from the law,” he added.