Mohammed Buba Marwa, chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says 90 percent of crime in the country is linked to drug abuse.
Marwa said this on Monday when he met with various stakeholders in Rivers state.
Speaking to officers at Onne seaport, Marwa said the surge in banditry and kidnapping is connected to drug abuse, adding that no right-thinking person can take up arms against another individual.
He said: “90% of all criminalities in Nigeria today ranging from banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, rape, and others is linked to the use of illicit drugs.
“Nobody in his right sense will take up arms to kidnap, rape and kill innocent people. Therefore if we are able to tackle the issue of drug abuse, most of the security challenges the nation is facing now would have been solved. We also need to take this war as a battle to save our children and women, and ultimately our society and the country at large.”
He charged the officers to be on guard and make sure that “no drug goes out or comes in through Onne seaport because any little drug that escapes into the society can do great damage to our families and our country as a whole”.
Marwa, who was also at the Port Harcourt International Airport command of the NDLEA, urged the law enforcement agents to ensure that the airport does not serve as the gateway for importation and exportation of illicit drugs.
“We need to secure our country from the menace of drug abuse by working together. For us in the new NDLEA, this is a fight to finish, we can’t allow this country to be destroyed by criminalities. All those involved in this criminal act must be fished out and punished,” he said.
He also spoke in the same vein at the Rivers state command of NDLEA while interacting with Christian and Islamic leaders and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
Marwa said the religious leaders have a significant role to play by preaching against the use of illicit drugs, which he said, is dangerous to the future of the country.
“Our society is a religious one and as such our religious leaders must use their privileged position to make the campaign against drug abuse part of your sermons in the churches and mosques”, he said.
“I want you to come out with a loud voice against the menace because if we don’t all rise up against the menace now, by 2050, not less than 30 million Nigerians will be on drugs and that is too dangerous for the future of this great country.”
He urged members of NURTW to “cut out the use of drug and its transportation by its members across the country”.
Marwa said the agency will intensify its fight against drug traffickers, adding that no matter how long they have been in the trade, there won’t be any hiding place for them.