By Bukar Bolori
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is set to collaborate towards building more rehabilitation centres in the country.
The Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa expressed the willingness of her commission to work at this, during a courtesy visit on Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in his office in Abuja.
A statement signed on Friday by Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, NIDCOM said Dabiri-Erewa revealed that with the alarming rate of drug abuse in the country, some Nigerians in the Diaspora have shown interest in building rehabilitation centres across the country but their major challenge is land and a lot of them are even willing to offer free counselling services.
The NIDCOM Boss explained that the visit to NDLEA has become expedient against the backdrop of the Zainab Aliyu’s case of May 14, 2019 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Zainab Aliyu was allegedly accused of drug trafficking and consequently sentenced to death but through the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, facilitated by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, she was set free with Ibrahim Ibrahim.
Dabiri-Erewa noted that the intriguing thing here is that judgment on the matter is yet to be adjudicated giving room for those culpable walking about freely without led or hindrance.
She added that ”the culprits have been apprehended but they are walking about freely. It’s been two years and nothing has been done.”
Zainab Aliyu who was present at the visit with her sister while appreciating the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari in her case, also pleaded for justice, she said “my case has been in court for over two years and some months now. All I want is justice for me and other victims like me.”
The Chairman, NDLEA, Marwa who commended NiDCOM for its excellent public image and accomplishments within a short period, revealed his interest in the case and assured that his office will not relent until justice is served.
Marwa gave assurances that the airports are now more strict and efforts have been intensified in the airports to safeguard innocent citizens and reduce drug related incidence.
Marwa also welcomed NiDCOM’s initiative where by Diaspora Nigerians embark on sensitisation and counselling against drug use, abuse and trafficking especially by young adults and the building of more rehabilitation centres across the country.
The NDLEA Boss stated further that more rehabilitation centres are needed, “as we seize and prosecute, we should also consider those who abuse substances and find ways to rehabilitate them”, he said.
Marwa also said President Muhammadu Buhari is very keen at drug demand reduction and has mandated that it should be balanced.