The chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (Rtd) has alleged that drug barons were after the lives of the Agency’s operatives. He said was against his agency’s renewed fight against drug abuse in the country.
Speaking during its 2022 budget performance and 2023 proposal of budget before the House of Representatives Committee of Drugs and Narcotics in Abuja, the NDLEA boss pleaded with the committee to look into the need for urgent provision of barracks and sophisticated weapons for operatives of the Agency.
According to him, “The barracks issue is very critical to us because as we all know the NDLEA is very aggressive now against drug traffickers and the drug barons and when you arrest and prosecute them and send them to jail, they are not happy. So they come after our personnel and with our personnel living in the town and cities and among them, we have been recording casualties and assassinations against them.”
He said the President has promised to build a barrack for NDLEA personnel for the first time. He said, “Like I said earlier the President had graciously approved the construction of barracks for the Agency last 2022. The barrack project is ongoing and the sum of N13 billion has been captured in the 2023 budget proposal. Last year it was N24 billion. Actually, N24 billion cannot build a barrack, complete barrack. But we had to figure out certain key priorities in selected areas, bearing in mind the need to go round all the geopolitical zones and this year, we have been able to look at four zones. We have touched Lagos but it still needs more to be done.
“We pray that with more money for the barrack, because N13 billion would probably build half a barracks, but if we are able to achieve another 10 billion or more on this barrack, then we would be able to add three more of the geopolitical zones for us to complete six. Hopefully, as the years go by and we have other chairmen, the struggle for barracks would continue.”
Marwa said from January 2021 the Agency has arrested over 19, 000 persons while 28 drug barons have also been arrested and are being prosecuted, while 5,452 metric tonnes of illicit drugs, with a street value of N420 billion have been seized.
Also, over 3000 convictions have been secured, while 12,000 have been counseled in rehabilitation centres.