Over 20 Barons in net of NDLEA-Femi Babafemi

Over 20 Barons in net of NDLEA-Femi Babafemi

 

Nigeria has been recording huge progress in its fight against illicit drug trafficking and drug abuse since Brigadier Buba Marwa (Retired) took over the leadership of the National Drug law enforcement agency.

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The agency has been making, recording, breaking drug seizures and higher profile arrests.

Weeks back, the NDLEA recorded a historic feat when it uncovered a warehouse in Lagos where illicit drugs worth
billions of naira were stored .

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The agency has since then continued to bust drug cartels and apprehend Barons who once seemed invincible.

The the latest is the arrest of 52 year old Ugochukwuka dibia, a chairman of automation Motors
Limited.

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According to the NDLEA, one of Chukwuka Dibia’s six Mansions at Victoria Garden City Lagos was raided by its
operatives leading to the recovery of 13million pills of Tramadol worth 8.8billion naira street value.

Speaking on the recent development and general efforts of the NDLEA on TVC Breakfast, Femi Babafemi, Director of Media and Advocacy at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, said the progress currently being seen is as a result of the agency’s leadership’s Paradigm Shift.

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He noted that when Brigadier Buba Marwa (Rtd) was appointed to head the agency, he implored the workforce and everyone at the agency to work with him as he was there to make an impact.

“One of Marwa’s first actions was to take care of the officers’ needs by motivating them first by promoting more than 70% of the whole workforce.

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“Additionally, he saw to it that many allowances that hadn’t been paid in years, along with other things like insurance coverage, were paid, which actually encouraged the officers.

“He has provided good and competent leadership so far”.

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Mr. Babafemi pointed out that the 2018 National Drug Survey results, which present a very positive picture of the drug situation in Nigeria with 14.3 million people reported to have consumed illicit drugs, amount to a prevalence rate of 14.4%, which is three times the global average.

He continued by saying that the NDLEA chairman is prepared to employ all of his resources, collaborate with stakeholders, and pursue the barons and cartels—the sources from which all illicit drug addiction stems—along with turning the tide on the problem.

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Marwa believes that when the Barons remove illicit substances from circulation, it will be easier to seize previously available illicit substances because the source will be cut off.

The NDLEA media and advocacy director stated that apprehending the Barons has not been easy because they have built numerous networks to avoid detection, but with the help of Nigerians and technology, most of them are being unraveled.

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“Other forces are also in collaboration with us against the fight, we work with the police, military, NAFDAC, Immigration, Customs and others. We also work with international countries.

Mr Babafemi reiterated that apprehending these powerful drug lords was a difficult task because they disguised themselves so well.

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“When you have cartels that are headed by big Barons. to get actually to the top, to the so-called masquerade behind the scene, it is not something that comes easy because they build a lot of layers to shield themselves so much so that even the people operating with them at the at the lower middle level may not even know who is actually running the show.

“A lot of them have been so evasive, so anonymous to the point that you almost loose focus.

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“We have over 20 barons in our net who are either in our custody or facing trial at the moment.

“All of these are quite quite a lot of work but we are working hard to ensure that we achieve more results.

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Mr Babafemi stated that there there is still much to be done and hopes that after the tenure of Brigadier
General Buba Marwa (Rtd) the fight against illicit  drugs will be sustained.

“The menace of the abuse of drugs is beyond what we can really talk about especially when elections are coming.

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“There many young people who will be involved in this process because they’ll need some energy to do it.

“Some of these drugs may not be made in Nigeria but the country has become a hub where it is easily transported and distributed to other networks across the world across”. Babafemi added.

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