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By NBF News

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has stressed the need for a deeper working relationship between the agency and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). The call was made in Lagos recently, by the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, during a courtesy visit on the Lagos State Chairman of the union, Mr. Wahab Oba.

The NDLEA boss, who commiserated with Oba over the unfortunate kidnap incident in Abia State, involving him and other members of the union described it as sad and regrettable.

Giade explained that the Agency was working hard to eliminate illicit drugs from the society, as criminals relied on it to commit their dastardly acts.

He explained that the arrest of Chinese drug suspects was an eye opener, as there was no record of some Chinese dealing in drugs in West Africa. 'We are working round the clock to identify, arrest and prosecute drug traffickers in the country. Prior to the arrest of the Chinese drug suspects, there was no record linking Chinese to drug in the region.

Drug and crime are interwoven. Therefore, when you control drug trafficking, you are equally controlling crime. Serious criminal acts like kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, arson, among others, are usually perpetrated under the influence of drugs,' Giade said. Giade also extolled the virtues of journalists, noting that the agency shared the same vision with the union as the watchdogs of the society.

He said: 'As journalists, you do not only set the pace for development but you are also the driving force behind societal wheel of progress. It is my position that you are a worthy stakeholder in the anti-drug campaign. Therefore, whatever affects you, indirectly affects the agency because we are partners in progress. It will amount to an uphill task prosecuting the drug war without your priceless contribution in the area of public enlightenment.'

'I owe my success to the resolute support and commitment of your union to the anti-drug campaign. Often, you took it upon yourselves to propagate the ills of drug trafficking at little or no cost to the agency.

In his response, Oba thanked the NDLEA boss for the visit. 'I want to thank Nigerians and the international community for their support and prayers for us while we were in the jungle. It was so bad that we almost gave up hope, expecting the ultimate but God protected us,' he stated.