- The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has alleged that men of Nigeria military, para-military agencies are involved in drug abuse
- The agency said it was already compiling data on the rate of drug abuse among security personnel
- Defence Headquarters while reacting to the allegations said it will study it, claiming not to have heard of the allegation
Concerns have been raised over rising problem of drug abuse in military and para-military agencies in the country by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
Chairman of NDLEA, Muhammad Abdallah, who was represented by his chief of staff, Femi Oloruntoba disclosed this at a world press conference organised by the agency to mark United Nations 2018 International Day Against Drug and Illicit Trafficking, with the theme, "Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe."
He also claimed the agency was already compiling data on the rate of drug abuse among security personnel, Vanguard reports.
“The military and para-military surely are involved in drug abuse and they know it. I can confirm to you that they have approached us for that statistics of their officers and men arrested for drug. We are compiling it for them. I believe because they want to address it as an institution," he said.
The Defence Headquarters while reacting to the allegations said it will study it, claiming not to have heard of the allegation by the country’s drug law enforcement agency.
Brigadier General John Agim, acting director of defence Information, who reacted on behalf of the military said: “I have not received such a thing from the NDLEA. I am not even in the country, I’m in London now. Give me some time to find out if actually they said that," he said.
Pressed further for a brief reaction, he said: "I can’t speak on that for now until I see the context of what they said. But if at all they said that, I don’t think it’s correct but I want to look at what they said first before I react appropriately."
On its part, Nigeria Police Force, said it was not among the agencies being accused by the NDLEA as it wasn’t a paramilitary organisation.
The acting deputy commissioner of police, Jimoh Moshood, who reacted to the allegation claimed it was not only baseless and mischievous but intended to ruin the image of security agencies of government.
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“So if you are reacting to what somebody has said, people will ask you ‘did he mention your name.’ So, what I’m saying is that the police is not a paramilitary organisation. But in respect to drug abuse, there is no rampant case of drug abuse in the Nigeria Police Force. In fact, there’s none at all.
"The NDLEA should work on record. They should come out with proof of any police officer that has been indicted of drug use.”
Similarly, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) denied the allegation, claiming it had zero tolerance on drug abuse among its officers and men.
“As far as the CNS is concerned, we do not tolerate drug abuse among our officers. Recall that sometime ago, some officers were sent to the NDLEA and those who tested positive were summarily dismissed.
“We don’t tolerate drug abuse at all. This is because our officers bear arms. We cannot afford to have officers who bear arms to work under the influence of drug,” spokesman of the organisation, Joseph Attah, said.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that the Nigerian Senate developed two draft bills for legislation to tackle the menace of drug abuse in the country.
NAIJ.com gathered that the proposed bills are: National Drug Control Bill and National Mental Health Bill.
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