By John Ikani
President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the construction of barracks for workers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) across the country.
Buba Marwa, Chairman of the NDLEA, revealed this after a meeting with Mr Buhari on the agency’s activities at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.
He explained that the move to build barracks for staff of the agency became necessary in order to protect them and their families from criminals involved in drug trafficking.
According to him: “I raised the issue of barracks, the NDLEA has been in existence for 32 years.
“All other agencies, Armed Forces, Police, Customs, Immigration, Road Safety, all have estates, and barracks, except the NDLEA, we still don’t have barracks.
“And now, considering the hazardous nature of the work that we do, the danger in it, we arrest and jail the criminals and then live amongst them.
“This is an area that I found His Excellency, the President, was very well seized of it and in fact, disclosed that when you send operatives, to go into the forest, to go after the criminals, they will be encouraged if they knew that their own families are secured in a barracks somewhere.
“So clearly, we got a positive response from the Commander in Chief and we are very grateful for it and we look forward to the execution as soon as it is practicable”.
The NDLEA is a federal agency in Nigeria charged with eliminating the growing, processing, manufacturing, selling, exporting, and trafficking of hard drugs.
The agency was established by Decree Number 48 of 1989. The NDLEA is present in international airports, seaports and border crossing. It tries to eradicate cannabis by destroying plantings. The NDLEA also targets the leaders of narcotics and money laundering organizations.