President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has attributed the lingering insecurity to the funding activities of drug barons who provide insurgent groups such as Boko Haram, bandits and kidnappers with arms and ammunitions to undertake criminal activities in the country.
Lawan made this known when the chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd.), paid a visit to his office on Thursday at the National Assembly, Abuja.
According to him, such drug barons who engage in trafficking heroine, cannabis and cocaine have made Nigeria a major transit route for plying the illicit trade, which, he added, was responsible for the rise in criminality in the country.
The Senate President, therefore, called for the restructuring of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) so as to further empower it to rise to the occasion of clamping down on the criminal activities of drug traffickers operating in the country.
He assured that the National Assembly would support the agency in the aspect of amending the NDLEA Act with a view to enabling the agency achieve its core mandates.
He said: “The National Assembly members are almost on a daily interaction with our constituents and we know the very debilitating impact of drug abuse in our various communities.
“You have rightly said almost every community in this country suffers from drug addiction. So, we are very mindful of what is happening.
“I believe that this agency needs restructuring. Now that you have taken over, we should go the whole hog to restructure the agency, not piece meal touches, because we need to get it right.
“My personal opinion is that NDLEA should be in the league of EFCC, ICPC, and therefore, the kind of support that those two agencies I mentioned receive, you should receive something like that, in addition to many other things that you should be supported with.
“So, the National Assembly will definitely work with you, we will partner with you, and will ensure that we do our best to give you the kind of support that will enable you properly to discharge your mandate.
“Having said this, let me say that Nigeria as a country is in one way or the other a transit route for drugs.
“Drug peddlers pass their drugs through Nigeria – cannabis, heroin and possibly even cocaine.