The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd) has identified use of drugs as the generic cause of banditry and insurgency in Nigeria.
He said the government must understand the nexus between drug and criminality, suggesting that drug abuse must be tackled before tackling banditry, insurgency and other forms of criminalities in the nation.
The former Military Administrator spoke when he paid a courtesy call on Thursday alongside other senior officers of the agency, on the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan in Abuja.
He asserted that where crimes thrive, the situation can’t be isolated from the use of drugs by criminal elements, lamenting that the level of drug abuse in Nigeria is at its peak that the government must not rest on its oars.
He said: “On behalf of the officers and men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, I want to thank his Excellency, the Senate President for granting us this opportunity at a very short notice.
“Actually, I was surprised when I got information that our request has been granted for us to pay a courtesy call on the Senate.
“Your Excellency, we are proud to say, you are one of the key stakeholders that is very eased on the use of drugs in Nigeria. Under your leadership, the Senate has displayed competence, support and efforts on this matter.
“In fact, the process is already on by the Committee for the review of the NDLEA Act. This is a very good step to correct some of the lapses in an Act that was promulgated as far back as 1989.
“The purpose of today’s visit is twofold. It is an advocacy visit and secondly, a visit that calls for urgent intervention from the Senate President.
“Nigeria is in a state of siege today because of insurgency and banditry. If you go to some areas and talk of kidnapping and banditry, it’s not his major concern, but when you speak about the issue of drugs, every Nigerian must know somebody; some family that has affliction of drug abuse.
Marwa maintained that drug challenges should be a priority, if the government must win the insurgency and banditry battle.
He lamented the endless attacks which make news headlines all the time, while seeking the cooperation of the National Assembly in the fight against drug abuse.
“Drug abuse at this point is actually the number one problem we are facing. It’s everywhere!
“First of all, it destroys our kids, women, and youths; the family system and secondly, it is behind criminality everywhere.
“Every day on the news, you read of one criminality or the other. You have to be crazy to commit some of these criminalities and what fuels it is drug use.
“Even the insurgents take drugs; the bandits take drugs before they go into their activities and throughout military history, we know that drugs can be used as a tool.”