A total of 142 suspects were arrested in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for hard drug-related offences in the last three months while 53 convictions were secured in the same period by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Speaking while receiving the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello in his office in Abuja, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) further said that a total of 66 hard drug users were counselled and rehabilitated while 760 kilograms of illicit substances were seized, all within the first three months of the year.
According to a statement by the Agency’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, General Marwa said with a 10% drug use prevalence in Abuja, the Agency has remained on the offensive against cartels in the capital territory.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has taken the lead and in our efforts to actualise the presidential mandate of eliminating the menace, we need more support from all stakeholders and every citizen, the NDLEA boss stated while urging the Minister to give more logistics support to the Agency to effectively carry out its mandate in the FCT”, General Marwa stated.
General Marwa further thanked the Minister for his unflinching support to the Agency and commended him for his good work in the nation’s capital territory. He said the NDLEA has remained steadfast with outstanding performance in drug control efforts across the country to save the youths, families and communities from the drug scourge.
He urged the Minister to set up an FCT drug control committee that will be replicated at the Area Councils and the communities in addition to adopting drug tests as a policy for students, prospective couples, workers and political office seekers in the capital territory as it is done in Kano State.
In his response, Mallam Bello expressed his preparedness to continue to support NDLEA in its renewed war against drug abuse and trafficking of illicit substances in the country.
The Minister also granted the requests by the NDLEA boss and promised a formidable partnership that would secure the FCT against the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking. While commending Gen. Marwa for the impactful job he’s leading the NDLEA to do in Nigeria, he said the nation is very proud of him especially for upscaling the fight against drug abuse beyond just arresting people on the streets and communities but going to the roots to arrest the big-time players, producers and traffickers.
“You have sent a very strong message with the profile of your arrests and prosecution. This has encouraged citizens to give information and sent fears to the drug cartels”, the Minister said.
A major highlight of the visit was the appointment and decoration of the FCT Minister as the Grand Ambassador of War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, by the NDLEA boss in appreciation of his support for national drug control efforts.