War on drugs: the navy equips the NDLEA with 2 Epenal boats

By BUKOLA ADETOYE

Lagos – The Nigerian Navy has provided the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) with two Epenal boats to bolster its war against illicit drugs in the country.

The Navy Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu, who said this during the handover of the boats to the NDLEA in Lagos on Thursday, noted that the boats were for the operation and the coaching.

Awwal, represented by Rear Admiral Hamza Kaoje, said the Navy believed the move would help expand and strengthen the NDLEA.

“In truth, this will have a positive impact on operational effectiveness and capability development, especially for its maritime unit,” he said.

He hinted that the Navy had also arranged a two-day training for NDLEA personnel on boat handling for full use of the two boats.

In response, NDLEA President, retired Brigadier General. Buba Marwa expressed his joy at the donation.

He said, “This anti-drug agency was pleased with the Navy’s quick response to our request.

“NDLEA thanked the Navy Chief of Staff for these materials which will strengthen the NDLEA Navy unit.”

Marwa, represented by Seaport Operations Manager, Apapa, Lagos, Ms Omolade Faboyede, said the response was part of a broad effort to protect Nigerian waters from the trafficking of illicit substances.

Marwa said the synergy between the Navy and the NDLEA, exemplified by the donation, testified that the NDLEA was winning the war on drugs on the water front.

“We have reached a point where the security organization can no longer afford to work in silos.

“Drug trafficking, as a transnational organized crime, requires the deployment of intelligence and close collaboration with key players like the Nigerian Navy and other key security organizations.

“And so far, our efforts in one year have shown that the strategy is working. In 2021, we recorded the arrest of over 12,300 people suspected of drug offences, including seven barons with 1,400 jailed drug traffickers.

“We were also able to counsel and rehabilitate 8,000 drug addicts and in the same period we cleared over 3.4 million kilograms of various drugs,” he said.

Interestingly, Marwa said that drugs and illicit proceeds of drug-related crime worth N130 billion have been successfully recovered as this year has also started off on a great footing.

He said the NDLEA broke its first quarter operational record with the arrest of over 3,539 suspected drug traffickers and the seizure of over 65,916 kg of drugs.

He expressed his belief that the partnership would produce more remarkable results in our country’s fight against narcotics and psychotropic substances. (NOPE)

Earnest A. Martinez