President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has called on heads of national drug law enforcement agencies in Africa to renew the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in their respective countries.
Specifically, the Nigerian leader warned that the African continent would remain in chains till it breaks free from the shackles of the criminal enterprises of drug barons and syndicates of illicit drugs.
President Tinubu sounded the warning in Abuja on Tuesday when he declared open the 31st meeting of the Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies, Africa (HONLAF) at the Abuja Continental Hotel.
In his keynote address titled, ‘Rising Above the Drug Threat’, the President who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima at the event, observed that Africa was at the mercy of a threat that knows neither race nor geography, neither gender nor social class.
To this effect, he enjoined the heads of drug law enforcement agencies to consider the conference in Abuja as a ray of hope and a catalyst for positive change across the continent.
On the choice of Nigeria for the conference, President Tinubu said it is a profound recognition of the campaign and fight against illicit drugs in the country by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Welcoming guests earlier, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), restated the stakeholders’ commitment to addressing the world’s drug problem.
He emphasized the need for global partnerships in addressing drug trafficking and other vices.
Speakers at the opening session of the meeting included the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), Mr Ghada Fathi Waly; the UNODC Country Representative, Mr Oliver Stolpe; The Commandant of the National Institute for Security Studies, Mr Ayodele Adeleke, and Representative of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, among others.
Sen. Kashim Shettima-
Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd)-Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)