Marwa Seeks Community Support as Ochi’Idoma, Others Back Drug War

Traditional rulers, religious and community leaders have been challenged to champion the campaign against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in their communities and spheres of influence.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) gave the charge at different occasions in Igumale, Ado Local Government Area and Otukpo in Benue State on Sunday 22nd, and Monday 23rd January respectively.

A statement on Tuesday by Femi Babafemi, NDLEA’s Director, Media and Advocacy disclosed that Marwa was in Igumale to perform the ground-breaking ceremony of the Agency’s Area Command office in the community.

Marwa, while speaking at the palace of the community’s monarch, Chief Joseph Oche Ikor, urged the traditional ruler to see the siting of an NDLEA office in his domain as a call to mobilise his people to reject substance abuse and support ongoing efforts to eliminate access to illicit drugs wreaking havocs in families and communities.

Similarly, the NDLEA boss, in his remarks at the foundation laying ceremony and the commissioning of a 20-kilometre road in the community stated that “both developments are signs of the importance of this community and local government to Nigeria’s welfare and also a testament that communities in this corner of the country are not left out of the dividends of democracy by its leaders.”

The road was facilitated by Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo, member representing Ado-Ogbadigbo-Okpokwu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Narcotic Drugs.

Marwa commended the lawmaker for his passion and commitment to the effort to make Nigeria a drug-free country, disclosing that the lawmaker is at the cusp of making history with his sponsorship of a bill to make political office seekers take the Drug Integrity Test, from the lowest position of councillorship to the highest office in the country.

“At the same time, he has also been one of the key drivers of the amendment of the NDLEA Act which we are hopeful will be passed by the National Assembly before the end of the tenure of the Ninth Assembly.

Even as he worked on the national stage, he also remains an embodiment of the saying that “charity begins at home,” Marwa said.

The NDLEA boss admonished the community to do their utmost to keep the communities clean of illicit drugs.

“Keeping Nigeria safe from dangerous substances is the mandate of NDLEA; the mandate, however, cannot be attained without the contribution of Nigerians.

“We have created a vehicle to facilitate the participation of the citizenry, which is the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, campaign. It is a social advocacy which we are going to taking to every community in this country. We started in 2021 and in the past two years, we have succeeded in getting WADA to the doorsteps of our people at the grassroots.

As we intensify the campaign this year, I enjoin every one of you to be a part of this platform for social action where all well-meaning Nigerians become stakeholders in the concerted effort to safeguard the safety and sanity of our society against the drug scourge,” Marwa said.

In the same vein, while speaking during a WADA advocacy visit to the Ochi’Idoma of Idoma land, Agabaidu Elaigwu Odogbo Obagaji John, on Monday, Marwa said traditional rulers as leaders of their people must embrace the campaign against the drug scourge in the interest of the youths, families and the security of their communities and the country as a whole.

The monarchs and other community leaders who spoke at the different ceremonies promised to support the Marwa-led agency to succeed in its given task while also assuring that they would work with NDLEA to rid their domains of illicit drugs.