By Femi Babafemi
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) and Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta state have stated that for Nigeria to defeat the twin evil of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking, Nigerians must rise in unison to stamp out the scourge from communities and cities across the country.
They agreed on this in their remarks when the NDLEA boss paid the governor a courtesy visit at the Government House in Asaba, the state capital during his three-day working visit which ended on Friday 3rd November 2023.
Explaining his mission to the governor and members of his executive council at the executive chamber of the Government House where he was received along with senior NDLEA officials who accompanied him, Marwa said hes visiting Delta to personally condole the family of Mr. Fidelis Omhonrina over the tragedy of the unintended death of young Ivan and the wounding of his brother, Eromosele, as a result of a ricocheted bullet that strayed 600 metres away from the scene of an NDLEA encounter with some notorious drug dealers on 13th July in Asaba.
He said hes equally in the state to assess the operational needs of the Delta state command and Delta Ports command of the Agency with a view to mobilizing officers and men of the two formations to go all out for drug cartels operating in the state. He also added that his third mission was to rally stakeholders key to a successful fight against the drug menace in Delta with a 2018 prevalence rate of 18%.
He said with a projected rate of 40% rise in drug abuse in Africa by 2030, all well meaning Nigerians and organisations must unite behind the anti-narcotics agency in its ongoing renewed efforts in drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction. While encouraging the governor to intensify his poverty alleviation programmes to address youth unemployment, which is a major trigger for substance abuse, Marwa asked for logistics support for the two Commands in the state, setting up of drug control committees from state, to local government and community levels as well as provision of rehabilitation centres in each of the three senatorial zones of the state.
He commended the governor for his good works within a short time in office and his commitment to the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the state.
In his response, Governor Oborevwori celebrated Marwa for always providing quality leadership and unflinching dedication to duty in all national assignments assigned to him.
According to him, We know your antecedents as military governor in Borno and Lagos state. And under your leadership, NDLEA has recorded successes, going after drug cartels. This momentum must be sustained if we have to win the war against illicit drugs.
While saying the drug scourge has become a public health issue globally and in Nigeria, which needs urgent and proactive actions, the governor assured the Agency of his support and partnership to rid the state of the menace. He thanked Marwa for showing empathy and prompt response to the July fatal incident. The governor said Nigerians are appreciative of what youre doing in NDLEA, please dont relent and dont be discouraged. Those involved in the illicit drug business must be dealt with.
The NDLEA had earlier in a separate meeting with chairmen of local government councils in the state sought their support and collaboration as the agency was preparing to deploy personnel to LGs across the country beginning from the first quarter of 2024. He urged them to set up drug control committees in their councils and down to communities and wards for the purpose of cascading war against drug abuse, WADA, advocacy messages to the grassroots.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Chairman of Ughelli South local council, Dr. Koffi Richard told the NDLEA boss well give you any level of support at the LGs because youre someone weve been looking up to for years. Were willing to collaborate with you and your officers because we want peace and security in our respective Local Governments.
In another meeting with the Asagba of Asaba, Professor Chike Edozien and other traditional rulers and chiefs in his palace, Marwa urged them to set up drug control committees in their domains while asking for their partnership in the fight against illicit drugs. The respected monarch assured the NDLEA chairman of the readiness of the traditional institution to support his efforts because the subject matter of your visit is of great importance to us and Nigeria as a whole.
The NDLEA boss and his team also visited the home of Mr. Fidelis Omhonrina where he again assured the family of continued support over the death of Ivan and the plan to fly Eromosele abroad for further treatment. The family expressed appreciation for the visit and support.
Views exclusive rights: Femi Babafemi
Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters Abuja, Friday 3rd November 2023.
Hong Kong, France-bound businessmen arrested at Abuja airport for ingesting cocaine, heroin
- As NDLEA intercepts hotel attendant with 29kgs consignment going to Oman at Lagos airport; seizes over 6 tons of skunk in Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Edo, Gombe
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested two businessmen at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja, with consignments of cocaine and heroin going to Hong Kong and France concealed in their bellies.
While 38-year-old ThankGod Chimamkpa Emenike was arrested at the boarding gate of the Abuja airport on Friday 20th October during the outward clearance of passengers on Air France flight 818 to Paris, another passenger, 41-year-old Agbo Chidike Prince was taken into NDLEA custody on Saturday 21st October while attempting to board an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 950 to Hong Kong via Addis Ababa.
They were both arrested and detained after their body scan revealed they ingested illicit drugs. After days in custody and a number of excretions, Emenike excreted 72 wraps of heroin weighing 1.171 kilograms, while Chidike discharged 49 pellets of cocaine with a total weight of 998.53grams. In his statement, Chidike claimed he is a businessman dealing in spare parts at the Alaba International market in Ojo area of Lagos. He added that he was to be paid ₦3.5million which he intended to use to import goods from Hong Kong.
In the same vein, NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos on Wednesday 25th October intercepted a Qatar Airways flight passenger going to Oman, Agbo Celestine Tochukwu with a consignment of 58 parcels of skunk weighing 29.10kgs while undergoing processes to board his flight at the terminal 11 of the airport. In his statement, Tochukwu claimed he relocated to Oman on 6th May and has been working as hotel attendant in Oman before venturing into drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, a total of 2,197 kilograms of skunk were recovered in four interdiction operations in parts of Ondo state within four days. While 1,165.5kgs were seized in Uso, Owo Local Government Area on Wednesday 25th October, a consignment of 691kgs were recovered from Ukugu forest in Ipele the previous day, Tuesday 24th October. A suspect, Ifeanyi Abuguja, 32, was arrested with 87kgs of same substance on Monday 23rd October at Agula Road, Ogbese, Akure North Local Government Area, while 253.5kgs were recovered at Ogbese market in Akure North Local Government Area on Thursday 26th October.
In Oyo state, two suspects: Ayo Dele, 19, and Olaitan Ahmed, 23, were arrested with 160 grams of cannabis at a drug joint at Nalende area of Ibadan metropolis on Sunday 22nd October while a follow up operation at their warehouse in the same area led to the recovery of 332kgs of the same substance.
While operatives of the Lagos Command of the Agency intercepted and recovered a vehicle loaded with 209kgs of Loud at Okun Ajah area of the state on Monday 23rd October, their counterparts in Gombe on Saturday 28th October recovered an abandoned consignment of 401 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 392kgs and 21,000 capsules of tramadol at Tumfure area of the state.
In the early hours of today, Sunday 29th October, NDLEA operatives in Edo state stormed the Utese forest in Ovia North East Local Government Area, where they evacuated a total of 2,931.3 kilograms of cannabis sativa from a warehouse in the forest.
The War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign of the Agency continued in equal measure in schools, markets, worship places and others across the country in the past week. Some of them include: WADA town hall sensitization lecture by Zone E command in collaboration with Kano and Jigawa commands of the Agency for 108 principals of secondary schools in Dutse Emirate; same lecture for students and teachers of Nkpoghoro community secondary school, Afikpo, Ebonyi state; students and teachers of Government Secondary School and Community Comprehensive School, both in Abua/Odual Local Government Area, Rivers state as well as WADA sensitisation lecture at Durbar Grammar School, Durbar, Oyo state.
While commending the officers and men of the NAIA, MMIA, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Edo and Gombe Commands for the arrests and seizures of the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) urged them and their compatriots across all formations of the Agency to maintain the offensive action tempo and strive to surpass previous records while maintaining a balance with their drug demand reduction efforts.
Views exclusive rights: Femi Babafemi
Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, Sunday 29th October 2023.