UPDATED: 'We Conduct Drug Test on Military Personnel Before Going on Course' - CDS Commends NDLEA, Vows to Expose Drug Traffickers, Abusers

... As NDLEA, Military to Strengthen Synergy on Drug War 

The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Christopher Gwabin Musa has commended the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. General Buba Marwa (retd.), and personnel of the NDLEA for the agency's massive achievements in it's operations, promised to strengthen its synergy with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to curtail the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the country.

General Musa gave this commendation and assurance when he led top military senior officers on a courtesy visit to the NDLEA National Headquarters, Garki, Area 11, Abuja today 18th December 2023.

SpyeTV News reports that this is the first time that the CDS and the NDLEA Chairman will be meeting in official capacities.

General Musa commended Marwa and his management team for the great turn around on the drug war, which has positively changed the negative perception about Nigeria in the international community. 

He assured of the continued support of the armed forces to NDLEA in its renewed fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking. He said the Agency’s efforts have motivated the military to introduce drug test as a requirement for training and promotion in the armed forces.

He said the nexus between drug abuse and insecurity cannot be over-emphasized, adding that if the nation is able to curb the scourge of substance abuse, the current security challenges would have been drastically reduced. 

He also said the menace must be tackled holistically while promising to consider the suggestion by the NDLEA boss for the military to have its own central rehabilitation centre.

“We know the challenges of drugs and how the use of illicit drugs has affected Nigeria's name. And when Nigeria is mentioned abroad, everybody thinks about drugs, but you and your team have turned that around, at least now, people have seen that sense of sincerity in addressing the drug issue in Nigeria. We know it is not easy, because a lot of people have benefited so much from it and they will do anything to sustain their illicit businesses. 

“I want to assure you that the members of Nigerian Armed Forces are fully behind you. We are proud of you and what you have been achieving and we will continue to support you until the menace of drugs is totally eliminated in the country. We know the influence of drug use and what it has done to us, creating a lot of issues all over the country, which is very alarming. 

“Drug use has slipped into so many places, and for members of the Armed Forces; we're not excluded. Now we have introduced as part of our recruitment processes and for our people to go for courses, they must take drug test, because this will ensure that personnel of the Armed Forces are doing the right thing and are in the right frame of mind. So, we'll continue to do that and continue to intensify our efforts.

“We have seen the number of arrests being made and how the world over now has seen that Nigeria is taking positive measures to address this drug issue, this I think is highly commendable. Theatre Commanders in the North East have seen the effect of drugs. Ideally, some people that will not even be able to carry a knife, when they take drugs, they carry a GPMG. So, this tells you what drugs do, it gives you a lot of fake confidence and with usage over time they become addicted and when they become addicted it becomes dangerous to them and they become a danger to everyone close to them.”

General Musa also revealed that the armed forces of Nigeria will not relent in supporting the NDLEA to fight the use of drugs among youths and its personnel. He said the military will not shield any personnel engaging in hard drugs as a court-martial is already awaiting offenders.

The CDS condemned the spate of drug trafficking and abuse in Nigeria while commending Marwa for NDLEA's efforts at ridding Nigeria of the drug scourge.

Responding, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. General Buba Marwa (retd.) thanked the Chief of Defence Staff for his visit to the NDLEA to promote more synergy and emphasizing the significance of the partnership between the military and the NDLEA. Marwa said substance abuse is at the root of crimes and criminalities across the country. 

He commended the Nigerian Armed Forces under the leadership of the CDS for their loyalty, sacrifices and hard work to keep the country safe. He also thanked the military for supporting the Agency in terms of logistics and training.

“The criminal elements rely on drugs to carry out their criminalities and that is why we have been very ferocious in our offensive action against them to cut access and availability of these illicit drugs. As a result, in about three years we have arrested 42, 105 drug offenders, including 46 barons; seized 7, 500 tons of drugs; 1, 057 hectares of cannabis farms destroyed and 8, 350 offenders convicted while 29,400 drug users have been counselled and rehabilitated within the same period.

He therefore urged the armed forces to consider constructing central rehabilitation centre and creating rehab facilities in existing military hospitals to attend to the treatment of their personnel that may have issues of substance abuse.

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