Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has charged its officers and men of the new Strike Force Corps , to go all out and root out drug barons and cartels from their hideouts across the country.
Brigadier General Buba Marwa, Retired, gave the charge at the special operations training graduation ceremony for one hundred and forty-three officers of the Strike Force Corps at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, NASI, Jaji, Kaduna State.
According to him, the drug scourge in Nigeria is unacceptable with almost fifteen million Nigerians abusing substances, twenty percent of who are addicted, which is three times the global average.
In his words, the agency is conscious of its job to block and prevent availability of narcotic drugs, and that necessitated the formation of the Strike Force to enhance its capability for complex operations.
He says the Strike Force is the tip of the agency’s spear in its interdiction efforts and as such must keep the tip sharpened and always ready to strike because they need to be two steps ahead of drug barons and cartels operating in the country.
To him, with the training and graduation of the officers and men today, we serve a notice to the drug barons and cartels who are yet to get the message to quit the criminal trade that these well trained officers and men are coming to smoke them out as a formidable force anywhere in the country.
According to him, as we equip and arm you well, be ruthless with the criminal gangs and merchants of death, equally, I will implore you to display professionalism, discipline and respect for human rights in your operations.”
He added that another batch of officers and men of NDLEA would be sent to NASI for similar training in the coming weeks.
Marwa commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, and the Armed Forces for the successes recorded so far in the fight against insecurity in the country.
He tasked them not to rest on their oars “because fighting insecurity is not like a football match that ends at the end of 90 minutes.”
While reminding the new graduands of their position within the Agency, Marwa said “Note that the special nature of your training will require you to serve as a force multiplier to the conventional NDLEA officers in the field.
He warned them of the hazard along the way, saying it will come in various forms, ranging from physical assaults to stupendous temptations by traders and traffickers of illicit drugs.
In his words, when the tempests arise, rise above them, Let your sense of duty remain uncompromised, Let patriotism prevail over pecuniary interest, Let no temptation prevent you from discharging your duties to the best of your ability, In whatever situation you find yourself, remember to not forgo your training about the rules of engagement, especially the respect for human rights.”
According to him, “it is also important that you always bear in mind that there is little or no margin of error in the execution of your task as the safety of all NDLEA officers on assignment, including yourself, will, at times, depend on the speed, accuracy and efficiency of the Strike Force team providing cover for the mission. On such occasion, your training will be called to test”.
In his remarks, Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Major General M.G. Ali, commended Marwa for repositioning NDLEA for efficiency and relevance within the country’s security architecture.
He said the training, as the first of its kind will enhance the Agency’s capability to handle more complex challenges in its task of tackling drug barons and cartels.
Other top Army Chiefs at the ceremony include the Commander, Nigerian Army Infantry Corps, Major General Victor Ezeugwu and Commandant, Martins Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peace Keeping Centre, Major General A.J. Fagae among others.