Drug barons funding terrorists, bandits — Senate president

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday raised the alarm that drug barons are  funding terrorists. According to him, this explains why  Boko Haram insurgents, bandits and kidnappers with arms and ammunition undertake criminal activities in the country.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja  when the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brigadier General Buba Marwa, retd, paid him a visit, Lawan  called for the restructuring of NDLEA  to further empower it to rise to the occasion of clamping down on the criminal activities of drug traffickers operating in the country.

 Lawan, who assured that the National Assembly will support the agency in the aspect of amending the NDLEA Act  to enable the agency achieve its core mandate, said: “The National Assembly members are almost on a daily interaction with our constituents and we know the very debilitating impact of drug abuse in our various communities. 

“You have rightly said almost every community in this country suffers from drug addiction. So, we are very mindful of what is happening. “I believe this agency needs restructuring. Now that you have taken over, we should restructure the agency, not piece meal touches, because we need to get it right.

 “My personal opinion is that NDLEA should be in the league of EFCC, ICPC, and, therefore, the kind of support that those two agencies receive, you should receive, in addition to many other things that you should be supported with. 

“So, the National Assembly will definitely work with you, we will partner with you, and ensure we do our best to give you the kind of support that will enable you to properly discharge your mandate. 

“Having said this, let me say that Nigeria is in one way or the other a transit route for drugs. Peddlers pass their drugs through Nigeria — cannabis, heroin and possibly even cocaine. “We believe that this has to stop, because the proceeds of such activities fund terrorism, banditry; you wonder how the bandits have RPGs and these massive arms they have. 

“Definitely, these are some acquisition provided by some barons, not the bandits themselves.  So, we need to ensure that this transit role that Nigerians play is addressed properly. We have to approach this through multi-sectoral efforts — the Customs, Immigration Service, our Security Agencies, and in fact, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and our seaports. 

“Of course, this is not going to be easy, but we have to be steadfast and we should do whatever is possible within the limited resources we have to make you better.”

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