It is certainly unarguable that General Mohammed Buba Marwa (retired) is fittingly a round peg in a round hole in the world of anti- narcotism.
His choice and appointment in January, 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari to chair and direct the operations and policy issues of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has manifestly proved to be a right one going by the achievements of the NDLEA in the last one year.
For an agency that was almost becoming moribund and rudderless ostensibly due to managerial ineptitude and bureaucratic lapses, to suddenly become a star performer with respect to the fight against merchandising in illicit drugs, can only be a reality through the ingenuity of a man who understands the dangers of allowing a narcotic regime to thrive in a developing country like Nigeria.
The man Marwa has within the last year proved at NDLEA that his swag as military administrator of Lagos some 24 years ago has not diminished both in terms of his intellectual astuteness and operational capability. He matches his words with action as he leads his team with the “I can do it spirit.”
Since he assumed office in 2021 and truly became in charge as the dejure and defacto Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, it has become very clear even to the international community that a new Sheriff is in town. Never in the history of Nigeria in the past two decades has the fight against illicit drugs been as intense and successful as it has been in the last one year.
Virtually every day now comes with story of big catch or the other of arrest of drug courier either in-bound or out-bound the shores of Nigeria. The Agency’s operational strategies have been strengthened with strict compliance to the operational mandate of all staffers.
This has undoubtedly resulted in the number and quantity of drug seizures and arrest of suspected couriers and traffickers both at the nation’s airport and other transit or trading points.
The arrest and parade of suspects in front of camera lenses have continued to reveal the reality and seriousness of the fight against the illicit drug regime by the Marwa leadership.
The recent declaration of the former Commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) Abba Kyari; a Deputy Commissioner of Police wanted in connection with cocaine trafficking and his subsequent arrest by police authorities and hand over to the anti narcotic agency, clearly sent a signal that there is no sacred cow in this new fight against narcotism under the leadership of Muhammed Buba Marwa.
The arrest and current investigation of Kyari clearly points to the old age suspicion that some security agents of the Nigerian state have been aiding and abetting the illicit drug trade in the country, hence it has been difficult and almost impossible to unmask the barons or sponsors of the trade both internally and across the borders.
Now that Kyari and some other police officers have been helmed in, let the NDLEA investigation, possibly in collaboration with sister agencies, tactically take a look at the life style of their operatives with a view to unmasking more drug traffickers in official uniforms.