By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja.
The West African Action Network on Small Arms – Nigeria (WAANSA-NIGERIA) and the Global Peace Advocacy and Empowerment Initiative on Monday called on the government to double its efforts in protecting officials and facilities of the National Law Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Recall that on Sunday 20th February, 2022, at a drug checkpoint along Enugu Abakaliki expressway, Ezzangbo, Ebonyi state, unknown gunmen attacked NDLEA operatives on duty and shot two officers, collected one rifle and burnt one patrol Hilux van. One officer was killed while the other one was shot on the leg.
Reacting to the attack in an emergency press statement on Monday by Comr. Martin Igwe and Gabadiya Hashim, Chairman and Secretary Organising Committee WAANSAN-NIGERIA/Global Peace Drug awareness town hall meetings respectively, said the news of the attack on NDLEA in Ebonyi State calls for serious concern.
They added that the attack was orchestrated by enemies of the war against drug abuse and narcotics to kill the morale of officials of the anti-narcotics agency, having intensified its fight against drug smuggling and abuse in recent times.
While encouraging the men of the NDLEA not to be deterred in their responsibility, the CSOs tasked the government and all law enforcement agencies to declare war against drug abuse and narcotics by giving NDLEA the needed support to stem the tide of drug abuse, which they said is at the core of crime across.
“After receiving the disturbing news of attack on NDLEA in Ebonyi state, we urgently call for protection of NDLEA facilities and staff Nationwide to prevent more attacks as this attack is ostensibly being manipulated by enemies of war against drug abuse, to reduce the morale of NDLEA whose performance in recent time remain more than credible.
“Nigerian Government through sister law enforcement agencies, politicians, and civil societies must stand up now to declare war against drug abuse and narcotics and give NDLEA massive support to encourage them to do more and ensure peace, health and development of Nigeria.
“Finally, we appeal to other agencies to emulate the commitment of NDLEA as securing Nigeria from crime and criminality is every body’s responsibility,” they stated.