The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has appointed the founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam as ambassador of war against drug abuse.
Dr. Aniebonam was presented with the letter of appointment at a brief ceremony held at the NAGAFF headquarters in Lagos on Thursday.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Commander General of Narcotics/Director, Seaports Operations, Omolade Faboyede, said the Ambassador of War Against Drug Abuse was an initiative by the Chairman of NDLEA, Brigadier General, Buba Marwa, to have meaningful stakeholders in the society to join NDLEA to increase public awareness in the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
“Right now, we have a new NDLEA in place with the various arrests we have been making in recent times. But NDLEA cannot do it alone and that is why we are here today. In a survey of drugs of 2019, we have a figure of about 10.6 million people abusing drugs in Nigeria. We know that drugs are a catalyst to terrorism, kidnapping and all violent criminal vices. There is no crime that is being committed in the country that does not have an underlying link to drugs, so the need for us to fight together,” she said.
Faboyede said Aniebonam was appointed given his track record and position in the society especially among freight forwarders, the maritime industry and the country at large.
She urged Dr. Aniebonam to synergize and collaborate with NDLEA in propagating the war against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
While congratulating the NAGAFF founder on his appointment, Faboyede expressed confidence in his ability to help achieve the objectives of NDLEA in the fight against drug abuse.
“You (Dr Aniebonam) have a voice among the freight forwarders, maritime industry and in Nigeria. We believe that with your voice you can help us win this war against drug abuse. What I expect after this investiture is to see different programmes from the founder for the youths and all the freight forwarders in the area of drug prevention,” she said.
In his response, Dr. Aniebonam expressed appreciation to the NDLEA management for finding him worthy of the appointment, promising to continue to partner with the agency and use his office to propagate the war against drugs especially among the freight forwarding community and the society at large.
“Since inception of NAGAFF in 1999, we have always had a good relationship with NDLEA and this relationship will continue to grow.
“It is to my knowledge that when NDLEA first made appearance in the port, there was resistance but that was for those who do not really understand the importance of NDLEA and the role they play in the lives of Nigerians especially the young ones and under my watch, I am aware that NAGAFF stood its ground and gave them all the necessary support to enable NDLEA carry out their statutory responsibilities and till today, it has been a wonderful relationship between us and NDLEA,” he said.
Aniebonam used the occasion to call on Nigerian youth to shun drug abuse and rather engage in meaningful ventures.