• Sat. Aug 13th, 2022

    Navy Synergizes With NDLEA To Combat Drug Cartels

    To strengthening the efforts of the Nigerian government to combat drug trafficking on Nigeria waters, the Nigerian Navy handed over two epenal boats, operational and training equipment to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

    The event which took place at the Western Naval Command, Apapa, Lagos was aimed at improving positively the operational efficiency and the capacity development of the agency’s Maritime Unit.

    Speaking at the event, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, represented by the Chief Staff Officer, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Hamza Kaoje, said the move was in a bid to further build a relationship with the agency as Navy also conducted two day trainings for NDLEA personnel on boats handling in Maritime crime situation.

    He said: ” the agency reaches out to the Nigerian Navy for supports in its current expansion and strengthening efforts to fight the existing menace of drug abuse. It is on this note that the Nigerian Navy deemed it necessary to make this donation to enhance NDLEA Maritime unit’s capacity to check illicit drug activities in the waterways.”

    He added that in October 2021, the Nigerian Navy intercepted shipment of 32.9kg of cocaine onboard MV CHAYANEE NAREE with the collaborative efforts of Interpol and NDLEA and that on April 19, 2022, Forward Operating Base BADAGRY patrol boat intercepted and seized 40 bags of cannabis at Ajulo waterside which was handed over to the NDLEA for destruction, adding that this donation would renew collaborative efforts in dealing with Maritime crimes.

    Meanwhile, Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) has said that the ongoing synergy between the anti-narcotic agency and other stakeholders especially the military will further tighten the noose on drug cartels and spell doom for their activities in the country.

    Marwa who was represented by Director of Seaports Operations, Mrs. Omolade Foboyede, described the gesture as symbolic and beginning of an era of stronger ties between both institutions. 

    “The Agency is determined to cripple the activities of drug cartels on every front. We do not doubt that the combination of Naval and narcotics strategies will spell doom for drug barons in the coming days. NDLEA will continue to partner with relevant stakeholders as we tighten the noose on drug criminals”, she declared.

    According to him, “I am particularly pleased with the prompt response to my request for material that could help to strengthen the Marine Unit of NDLEA as part of a sweeping effort to protect Nigerian waters from the trafficking of illicit drug substances. 

    The synergy between the Navy and NDLEA, as exemplified by this ceremony, is a testament that we are winning the drug war on the waterfront within the broad goal of preventing drug cartels from smuggling narcotics into our country through airports, land borders, and seaports.

    “We have come to a point where security organisations can longer afford to work in silos. Illicit drug trafficking, as a transnational organised crime, requires the deployment of intelligence and close-knit collaboration with key stakeholders like the Nigerian Navy and other security organisations. 

    “In our effort to stem the tide of narcotic drugs, we have gone the extra mile and that includes the pursuit of synergy with organisations in the security sector.”

    He highlighted some of the gains of partnership with other stakeholders in 2021. “And so far, our efforts in one year showed that the strategy is effective. In 2021, we recorded the arrest of more than 12,300 suspected drug offenders, including seven drug barons with 1,400 drug traffickers jailed. 

    “We were able also to counsel and rehabilitate 8,000 drug users and in the same period, also, we mopped up over 3.4 million kilograms of assorted drugs. Interestingly, drugs and illicit proceeds of drug crime worth N130 billion were successfully recovered.

    “This year equally started on an excellent footing. We broke our first quarter operational record with the arrest of over 3,539 suspected drug traffickers (including rogue security personnel and a well-known billionaire baron) and the seizure of more than 65,916 kilograms of drugs”, he stated.

    While thanking the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. LEO Irabor and other Service Chiefs for supporting the Nation’s drug war, Gen. Marwa who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Seaports Operations, DCGN Omolade Faboyede expressed confidence “that this partnership with the Nigerian Navy will produce more outstanding results in our country’s fight against narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.”

    Hyacinth Chinweuba

    HYACINTH Chinweuba is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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