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30 Million Nigerians May Be On Drugs By 2050, Says NDLEA Chairman Buba Marwa

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About 30 million Nigerians would be on drugs by 2050 if nothing was done to check the trend, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. General Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd), has said.

He also stated that 90 percent of criminalities being perpetrated in Nigeria including banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, and rape, were due to drug abuse.

According to him, with him in charge, the war against the menace of illicit drug trafficking, peddling, and abuse “is a fight to finish.”

Marwa, according to a statement from the agency, spoke on Monday at three different fora in Port Harcourt where he met with various stakeholders.

He spoke at stakeholders meeting comprising men and officers of the Rivers State Command of NDLEA at the Command’s headquarters, along with Christian and Islamic leaders as well as the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Rivers State.

Marwa said, “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 their sermons in the churches and mosques.

“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 the NURTW leaders to mobilize their members against using drugs and transporting the same for traffickers.

“NURTW must cut out the use of drugs and its transportation by its members across the country. For us in NDLEA, we are going all out for the small and the big; both the users, traffickers, and barons.

“The arrest in Lagos last week of a baron who has been on the run for 10 years confirms that we’ll not spare anyone, no matter how long they have been in the trade, they can no longer hide from the long arms of the law.”

The NDLEA CEO also spoke with officers of the Port Harcourt International Airport Command of the NDLEA along with other security agencies and stakeholders.

He reminded them that investigations have revealed that the airports and seaports had served as the gateway for importation and exportation of illicit drugs.

He, therefore, charged them to work in synergy to ensure that no hard drug enters or goes out of the country through their area of responsibility.

Marwa said, “You 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.”

At the Onne seaport, Marwa told a gathering of the stakeholders operating at the port including men and officers of the agency that “90 percent 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 urged them to be vigilant and ensure “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.”

All the stakeholders, especially the religious leaders and the NURTW assured Marwa of their support in the renewed fight against the drug menace in Rivers State in particular and the country at large.

They said they were happy to be part of the meeting, adding that given Marwa’s antecedents, they were excited about the record seizures and arrests made since he took over the leadership of the NDLEA about a month ago.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Boko Haram Frees Abducted Pastor 24hrs Before Execution Deadline

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Pastor Bulus Yikura, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has regained freedom 24 hours before the deadline set for his execution of the abductors.

A security source informed The Nation the cleric was set free on Wednesday evening on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis.

He was sighted with a few family members and the Nigerian Secret police.

Yikura’s freedom is coming one day before the dateline for his execution in a widely circulated video to seek help.

He was sighted in the video kneeling and begging the Federal Government and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to intervene as his life was left hanging for a few days.

He was quoted in the video pleading: “I have been given only seven days to appeal for assistance that will help me out of this torture.

“If truly you want to rescue me from this untold suffering and threat to life, then you have to act fast.

“I am also calling on the EYN president to help mobilize help that will rescue me, and also pray for me so that God will make things easy for me here”.

It is not clear what transpired before the release of Pastor Yikura as details are still being kept under wraps.

Recall that Yikura was abducted on Christmas Eve last year when Boko Haram attacked Pemi village in the Chibok local government area of Borno State and has since been with the captors.

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Northern Traders Agree To Resume North To South Movement of Food Stuff

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After about six days, the Leadership of Cattle and Foodstuff dealers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, on Wednesday, agreed to resume the movement of food supplies from the northern part of the country to the southern region.

It was gathered that the agreement was reached when the leadership of the trade union met with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in Abuja. Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode was also at the meeting.

About a week ago, northern traders had embarked on strike over the alleged killing of their members in the southern part of the country. Prices of food commodities like pepper, tomatoes, beef, yam, garri, amongst others, had gone over the roof with many southerners groaning and complaining about the increase.

The General Secretary, AUFCDN, Ahmed Alaramma, had said the President of the association, Mohammed Tahir, was with the Department of State Services over the blockade.

The northern traders had also called on the Federal Government to pay them billions in compensation while Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere; Activist Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, and others had threatened to launch a campaign against cows in protest against the development.

 

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BIG STORY

Sanwo-Olu Threatens To Name Beneficiaries Of Apapa Rot

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has threatened to name those benefitting from the perennial traffic gridlock and disorderliness experienced along the Apapa corridor in the state.

Sanwo-Olu stated this on Wednesday in Lagos while commending the Nigerian Ports Authority for the new E-Call Up system for trucks going to the ports.

The Apapa area of the state is notorious for chaos over the haphazard operations of container-laden trucks around the seaports.

At an event in Lagos today, the governor said, “We will name and shame them. We will bring out their names, be it a corporate organization, be it a company, be it a Lagos State officer, be it a police officer, whoever it is, be it a union that will say that the solution that we have brought about will not work.

“They will go and answer to the citizen of Nigeria and the citizen of Lagos State and the citizen of Nigeria. We will bring them to the public courts for them to see that we are about seriousness; we cannot condone the recklessness and the carelessness that our citizens have gone through.

“And I want to use this opportunity to commend the Management of NPA because they have worked with us on this agenda. So, my challenge is to others who have not signed on to this wonderful column system.”

NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman, had assured port users that the e-call up system would address irresponsible parking of trucks on port access roads in Apapa.

The e-call up system was designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa.

The Apapa corridor had been a nightmare for road users and Sanwo-Olu had last year said the Lagos State Government had started the process of taking over the operations of the Presidential Task Force on Port Decongestion that had been managing the traffic gridlock in the area.

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