New things are happening at the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and suddenly there is a return to the state of Lagos 1996-1999, when then-Colonel Mohammed Buba Marwa was military administrator.
Marwa took a broom and almost cleaned Lagos. With the “Cleaning” operation, the criminals got bloody noses and sent them to a shelter. The roads, which had become craters by then, were suddenly repaired. Bitumen, which we are told does not exist, has miraculously materialized. Various aspects of life and existence have been touched upon, and it has become one great pleasure to live again in the commercial capital of the country.
Now another “Sweep” operation is happening on NDLEA. President Muhammadu Buhari let Buba Marwa go to the agency and the villains are screaming blue murder. Like hair passing through wheat, he only reaps a powerful harvest of hard drugs, couriers and some barons.
Within six weeks, what Marwa has done makes you proud of the president who appointed him and of the man himself who remains a loyal and efficient steward. From the places he served, the military governor led by Ibrahim Babangida in the state of Borno, the military administrator in Lagos under Sani Abacha, the high commissioner in South Africa under Umaru Yar’Adua / Goodluck Jonathan, Marwa only reminds you of what Professor Ishaq Oloyede works for the Joint Admission and Title Committee (JAMB), among others Hamid Ali in the Nigerian Customs Service, Hadiza Bala in the Nigerian Port Authority. Marwa simply conquers and lights the furnace for joy in our hearts.
The steps are seen in just about six weeks: over 60 billion naira of seized hard drugs, the largest of which is 233,000 kg of cannabis in the Edo community. It is the largest in the history of the agency.
Seizure of over N30 billion cocaine at Lagos airport, N32 billion cocaine at Tin Can port, 200 kg of seized drugs at Lagos, Kano and Abuja airports, and so on. On top of that, the drug baron, who had been evading arrest for ten years, is now online. Impressive.
Now pause for a moment and think. Consider the link between hard drugs and crime. Rebels, robbers, kidnappers, armed robbers, rapists, ritual murderers, commit all these heinous crimes under the influence of psychotropic substances. What if those huge pounds of drugs melted in society, whether in the country or abroad? Do you know the number of young men whose lives would be destroyed, homes thrown into grief, families broken? May we have more Marwa in the hunt, cleansing society and getting rid of vermin. Amen, someone!
A retired military officer not only chases and shares villains, but equally rearranges the agency inside and outside. A committee has been set up to remove backlogs. That would encourage cops and men. A two-month evaluation is conducted, and cash prizes are established for the best NDLEA commands, visits to represent other government agencies, media and civil society groups, and so on. Marwa certainly shoots at all cylinders.
On our first official visit to the United States in 2015, I remember then-President Barack Obama saying that President Bukhari came to his task with a great deal of integrity and reputation. It’s the same with Marv. He came to work well prepared. He was the head of PACEDA, the president’s advisory committee on drug abuse elimination, so he knew the drug problem was huge. He studied it, saw the desolation that creates life and society, so he came to smoke. It was time to take revenge on drugs and drugs. No wonder he hit the ground running.
There is nothing as good as having round wedges in round holes. Oloyedes from JAMB, Hamid Ali from Customs, Hadiza Bala from NPA, Marwas from NDLEA and many others. Nigeria has a surplus of such. Just identify and use them appropriately, as President Bukhari does. And our country would do that. We would be proud and give our best to the country.
I can only say to those bad guys who deal in drugs and destroy the social structure: Egungun, be careful, but express it. Shine your eyes well. The Marwa beetle is in town, so you won’t soon find yourself where you don’t like it.
* Adesina is President Muhammad Bukhari’s special adviser on media and publicity