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Insecurity: Drug barons funding terrorists, bandits – Lawan

NEWSMAN, Abuja – President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has attributed the lingering insecurity to the funding activities of drug barons who provide insurgent groups such as Boko Haram, bandits and kidnappers with arms and ammunitions to undertake criminal activities in the country.

Lawan disclosed this when the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Buba Marwa paid him a visit on Thursday at his office in Abuja.

He explained that the proceeds of the illegal drug trade were being used to buy arms and ammunition for terrorist groups like Boko Haram, as well as bandits and kidnappers.

According to the senate president, “drug peddlers pass their drugs – cannabis, heroin, and possibly even cocaine through Nigeria. We believe that this has to stop because the proceeds of such activities fund terrorism, they fund banditry, you wonder how the bandits have RPGs and these massive arms that they’ve.

“I believe that this agency needs restructuring now that you’ve taken over. My personal opinion is that NDLEA should be in the league of EFCC, ICPC, and therefore, the kind of support that those two agencies I mentioned receive, you should receive something like that.

Lawan assured that “the National Assembly will definitely work with you and will ensure that we do our best to give you the kind of support that’ll enable you properly to discharge your mandate,” Lawan said.

“Definitely, these are some acquisitions provided by some barons, not the bandits themselves.”

Speaking on the drug addiction rate in Nigeria, Lawan underscored the need for multi-dimensional efforts across the various agencies of governments aimed at tackling underlying causes such as illiteracy, unemployment and poverty, responsible for the exposure of youths to criminal tendencies. 

The Senate President also advocated for the inclusion of Drug Education in the curricular for schools and institutions of learning in Nigeria.  

“We also believe that the drug addiction level in Nigeria is so bad that we are loosing our youths to drug addiction. Like you have mentioned, the terrorists, the insurgents, the bandits and almost all the criminals have recourse to taking drugs to enhance their courage in order to undertake their illicit activities.

Earlier, the Chairman of the NDLEA, Buba Marwa in an address delivered said the Ninth Senate under the leadership of Senator Ahmad Lawan has “displayed great interest, competence, support and effort” on the review of the NDLEA Act.  

“This is a very important step to correct some of the lapses in an Act that was promulgated way back in 1989”, he said.

According to Marwa, the visit was intended to “call for urgent intervention from the Senate President”, warning that, “Nigeria is in a state of siege today.”

Marwa raised alarm that the drug addiction scourge was largely responsible for acts of criminalities which has pervaded all parts of the country, and the outcome witnessed in the spate of insecurity lately. 

According to Marwa, “drug affliction is actually the number one problem we are facing, it is everywhere. First of all, it destroys our kids, women, our youths, and the family system. Secondly, it is behind the criminalities everywhere now.

“You have to be crazy to commit some of these criminalities, and what fuels it is drug abuse. Even the insurgents and bandits themselves, they take drugs before they go into their activities,” Marwa added.

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