Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has tasked Zonal Commanders, State Commanders and Area Commanders of the Agency to go all out and smoke out drug barons still in hiding as well as dismantle their cartels as part of ongoing efforts to totally cut off drug supply to elements involved in criminalities across the country.
Marwa gave the charge in his meeting with Directors and all Commanding Officers of the Agency at its national headquarters in Abuja.
He commended them for the unprecedented successes achieved so far and tasked them not to rest on their oars. He said no effort must be spared to remove illicit drug equation from the security challenges facing the country.
According to him, “Within the limit of our resources, we have been able to push boundaries. The statistics of our operations, empirical facts from the field, the general anti-illicit drug climate we have built and the rapport between us and our domestic and international partners, all speak volumes about how we are faring, especially against the backdrop of where we are coming from, of what the situation used to be a few years ago.
“Commendations apart, we also cannot afford not to tell ourselves the plain truth; we still have a long way to go. Hence commanders, officers and men of NDLEA can’t afford to rest on their oars. Yes, we have kept the flag of performance flying, but there’s still room for improvement. There is still much to do. And we cannot afford to be complacent now as we have committed to a lot of ongoing efforts to improve our operational capabilities. We are constantly engaging stakeholders within and outside the country to support and help optimise our capabilities. So, if anything, our performance should justify these ongoing efforts. We need to remind ourselves that to achieve our mandate, professionalism and discipline must be maintained at all times and in all our operations.
“We’re working with relevant authorities for improved funding so that we can comprehensively and holistically play our role as part and parcel of the solution to the security challenges facing the nation because if we are able to totally cut the access to and availability of drugs to the criminals, we would have effectively tampered with their nefarious activities and so we’re going to plead for enhanced funding to do more things in support of the fight against insecurity and I trust that the President will give us a listening ear because he’s interested in the progress of the NDLEA.
“This year, we want to raise the bar of our performance and this calls for commanders who are up to the task to be up and doing on the job. We must clean our streets and communities of illicit substances. We all are witnesses to the upsurge in the cases of kidnapping and such vices, this means NDLEA must remain upstanding. For those who have been watching and listening, recently, there is another demand by kidnappers and bandits aside money, which is drugs. In that sense, it means NDLEA is working because they don’t ask for it before, meaning that they’re no longer as available as they used to be and the prices of those available have gone beyond their reach.”
He charged the commanders to always ensure that the corporate integrity of the Agency is always protected in all they do. “Therefore, every command must shun any act capable of bringing into disrepute the hard-earned reputation of NDLEA. Where inappropriate actions occur, the management certainly will not overlook it. There will be penalties, just as there are rewards for good conduct, hard work and results. Now, the onus is on every commander to ensure the protection of our corporate integrity.”
While assuring that he remains committed to staff welfare including conducive work environment, allowances, remuneration and entitlements, and the basic welfare package, he asked the Commanders to replicate such in their various Commands. He warned that Commanders will have to justify their retention in Command positions with their performance.
“We have applied meritocracy to the rank and file; it is also fair to apply the same standard to the leadership. The implication for commanders is that your retention in command positions will henceforth be measured by your performance, which will be reviewed every quarter. In the new NDLEA, there is no room for laggards, and there are no excuses for laxity. Where there is a clear deficit of leadership, at zonal, state or area command, the agency will not hesitate to review and make a change of leadership, if necessary. This year, we want to raise the bar of our performance and that calls for having commanders who are up to the task.
“Our jobs are clearly defined: We must clean our streets and communities of illicit substances. Therefore, go and perform and let’s see greater results in the weeks ahead. And I assure you that at any time, you need backup, we are here to provide the necessary reinforcement. On this note, I want to implore commanders to let us keep our eyes on the ball. Let’s be prepared to work hard in 2024 and achieve unprecedented goals.”