New Year: Turn New Leaf Or …, NDLEA Warns Drug Barons
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen. Mohammed Marwa (rtd) has asked all those still involved in the illicit drug business to turn over a new leaf or risk losing their freedom and assets in the New Year.
The anti-drug czar, in his New Year message, said the NDLEA and its workforce are moving into 2022 “with a resolution to rid the country of illicit substances, and to continue our aggressive pursuit of drug cartels, barons and traffickers anywhere they may be within the country or even outside.”
A statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, yesterday, quoted Marwa saying, “Given our pedigree in 2021, there should be no doubt whatsoever about our capability to carry out these stated objectives.
“In the past year, we have scaled up our capability and reinvigorated our anti-narcotic activities. Our efforts have yielded arrests and interdictions. That should be a clear signal to anyone in the drug trade that the rules of the game have changed.
“In 2022, our goals remain the same: to dismantle drug cartels and syndicates, and that include arresting and having drug offenders jailed by the court and ultimately to rid our society of all traces of illicit substances.”
While leaving open a window of repentance for those in the trade, Marwa said “there is still a window of opportunity for drug traffickers and barons.
“Now is the time for them to turn over a new leaf before NDLEA turns on the heat and they lose it all. Since most of them are in the business to amass wealth, and now, they have made fortunes from this trade that harms society, therefore, it is time to quit.
“We call on them to think about the common good, to think about the future of this country, to think about the young and coming generations. Let common sense prevail, and on your own volition, make a significant contribution towards the effort to have a drug-free society where peace and harmony reign.
“We have seen the havoc of illicit drugs from the ugly development in parts of our nation due to drug abuse by youths and also from the general blight caused by abuse of Cannabis across the country.
“Those who heed this warning will thank themselves for taking the wise decision to quit the drug trade in the days ahead. Those who think and act otherwise can be assured of a tough year in 2022.
“They can take a cue from what happened in 2021, where the agency secured various jail terms for over 1, 200 drug traffickers, including nationals of other countries and we brought to book six drug barons, including those outside the country and those who had been on the run for as long as 10 years.”
While emphasising Nigeria’s determination to win the drug war, Marwa said with the full support of President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, the Judiciary and the citizenry, NDLEA would leave no stone unturned to fulfil its mandate in 2022.
“In this campaign against drug abuse and trafficking of illicit substances, the agency has the public support 100per cent. The Presidency is backing NDLEA to the hilt. Lawmakers are giving the agency the necessary leverage. And in the court of law, as proven by recent developments, there is no respite for drug traffickers and barons.
“Likewise, we have a good rapport with international partners. Hence, those who deal in illicit substances can be certain that NDLEA’s long arms will reach them and they will face severe penalties from the law”, he added.
Wike, Promise Keeper – Eze Gbakagbaka
His Majesty, Eze Oha Evo III, King Leslie Nyebuchi Eke, has described the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, as an astute leader and a promise keeper.
Eze Eke stated this when he spoke with newsmen at the commissioning of Rumuigbo internal roads in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, yesterday.
Governor Wike, he said, has so far proven that he has the interest of the state at heart, and expressed satisfaction over the Governor’s continuous project execution even towards the end of his administration.
According to him, the internal roads built by Governor Wike have opened the area to new trench of business and economic activities.
He noted that the community has now become a bee hive of business activities due to the roads.
The Evo King recalled how floods ravaged the area in recent times, but said such now belong to history due to Wike’s intervention.
On the recently commissioned phase one of the Trans-Kalabari Road, he said it has exposed the riverine communities to business activities as well.
He noted that the prices of commodities in the area will now stabilise as more business operators will be trooping into the place.
“The jinx of monopolistic operation is now broken. Everyone in the area will now be moved to do one business or the order. I think the Trans-Kalabari Road is one in million. Kudos to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike”, he said.
He also called on the people to jettison all forms of rancour and acrimony and give the in-coming administration under the leadership of Sir Siminialayi Fubara the needed support in order to enable him execute more people-oriented projects like the out going governor.
The monarch, who supported the idea of ‘Consolidated Government’, revealed that it would bring about rapid development in the state.
“My thinking is that Consolidation is necessary. For instance, the beauty of governance in Lagos State is that they maintained one party over the years, which has addressed the issue of abandoned projects”, he said.
The Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration has executed more projects in the state than any other government with no record of abandoned project.
By: King Onunwor
Pensioners Demand Separate Ministry Under Tinubu’s Govt
Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to create a ministry that will be saddled solely with the responsibility of addressing the plights of retirees in the country.
The South-West zone of NUP made the call after its quarterly meeting in Abeokuta, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the meeting was attended by chairmen and secretaries of NUP from Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Lagos and Ekiti states.
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, the Zonal Public Relations Officer of NUP in the zone, Olusegun Abatan, said that the creation of the ministry would turn the fortunes of pensioners around in the country.
Abatan called on Tinubu to do more for pensioners when he assumed office as president.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has done quite a lot for pensioners. He really helped them and so we are appealing to Tinubu to please give the matter of pensioners serious attention.
“We want a separate ministry that will be solely addressing matters that have to do with pensioners under the administration of Tinubu,” he said.
Abatan alleged that governors of South-West states were owing pensioners in the zone huge sums as gratuities and pensions.
He urged all the governors in the zone to implement the consequential adjustment and the 35 per cent increment in pensions without further delay.
Abatan particularly cited Ogun, Ekiti and Osun states where he claimed that the gratuities of pensioners were paid last in 2012.
“They are owing arrears of pensions, gratuities and other entitlements, including gratuities and entitlements to the next of kin of some deceased pensioners.
“We want to appeal to our governors to step up their interests in the affairs of pensioners,” he said.
We’ll Defend PDP’s Mandate Secured During The Election In Rivers -Wike
Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State will defend the mandate that was been given to all of its candidates in the 2023 general election.
The governor noted that soon the various election tribunals will commence sitting where the mandate will be challenged, but the PDP will stand in defence of its candidates to ensure that the mandate is not stolen.
Governor Wike gave the assurance when he spoke at a luncheon organised to celebrate the PDP candidates who won their election and have been presented with their Certificates of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Those honoured with the luncheon at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday were the Governor-elect, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, Deputy Governor-elect, Prof. Ngozi Odu and other elected Representatives of Rivers State to the National and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Governor Wike pointed to the fierce political battle that was experienced during the general election and that if not for God, the victory that PDP is celebrating today would have eluded it.
The Rivers State governor told those who have been elected to the National Assembly to support every cause that promotes national unity, while placing the interest of the State paramount at all times.
He explained the importance of working in tandem with the State on any cause, whether it is suiting to them or not, but because it is expedient in advancing the interest of the State.
Governor Wike pointed to some Rivers leaders who went to Abuja and betrayed the interest of the state. He said they have become the greatest losers and fallen out of relevance in the State.
The governor also urged the elected representatives to trend with caution and never use their elevated positions to undermine or antagonise existing leadership structure in their various local government areas.
He told them not to abandon those who have contributed sundry efforts to ensure that their emergence at the polls was successful.
Governor Wike scolded Hon. Nwanaka Okpokiri, the member representing Ahoada West State constituency, for working against the success of the PDP in the last general election, but failed.
In his speech, Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, said there is massive celebration across the State over the victory of the party in the last general election.
He noted as astute the leadership governor Wike provided in leading the party in a fierce electoral battle that has produced youngest governor-elect in Nigeria, Sir Siminalayi Fubara.
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