By Ibironke Ariyo
President Adama Barrow of Gambia has commended Nigeria’s commitment to the war against illicit drug trafficking and abuse, calling for more collaboration among anti-drug law enforcement agencies.
Barrow gave the commendation when he received the Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, at the State House, Banjul.
According to a statement by Mr Femi Babafemi, NDLEA’s Director, Media and Advocacy, on Friday, Marwa had visited the country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Drug Law Enforcement Agency of the Gambia, (DLEAG) on August 4.
The statement said the MOU bordered on combating illicit production, manufacture, and trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.
Speaking during the courtesy visit on Thursday (Aug.5), President Barrow applauded the decision by the NDLEA to sign the agreement with DLEAG.
Barrow said the agreement would strengthen and integrate ECOWAS member states, especially in the area of war against drug trafficking and abuse.
According to him, drug cartels work as a network and are linked; as such, institutions fighting them must also partner and work together.
“The whole of Gambia has an important guest in Gen. Marwa who we have heard so much about his leadership traits.
“Nigeria has been helpful and supportive of Gambia in various forms and we are grateful.
“The signing of the MoU between NDLEA and DLEAG is a clear indication that Nigeria is more than willing to partner with us,” he said.
He added that the coming of Marwa to Gambia was an indication of his personal commitment to the war against drugs.
“I believe the agreement will benefit both countries because drug use is a national threat and big security issue, and without security, no nation can progress,” he said.
In his remarks, Marwa expressed happiness that Gambia was a willing partner in the fight against drug cartels in the West African sub-region.
According to him, Nigeria is seeking support and partnerships at the national, regional and international levels as it is facing a big enemy in drugs.
Marwa said the successes recorded so far by NDLEA, since January till, date were made possible by the political will of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said President Buhari had greatly supported the agency in efforts at stamping out the twin evils of illicit drug trafficking and abuse from Nigeria.
The NDLEA Chairman was accompanied on the visit by Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Gambia, Mr Muhammed Manu, and other top officials of the Agency. (NAN)