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By NBF News

Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade, says that the agency will prevent the use of illicit drug money in the 2011 general elections as its contribution towards credible elections.

The NDLEA boss, who identified political instability as one of the adverse consequences of drug trafficking, said the agency was working out strategies to trace illicit drug proceeds.

This was contained in his presentation during the just concluded Defence and National Security Week at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos Plateau State.

In a paper titled, The Role of the NDLEA in the Promotion of Good Governance for National Security, he described implications of drug trafficking on national security as devastating. The Security Chief, who was represented by the Agency's Commander at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Alhaji Hamza Umar, said Nigerians must consciously eradicate illicit drugs from the country.

According to Giade, illicit drug production, distribution and abuse leads to incalculable personal, social, cultural, political and national security hazards.

'The consequences of cultivation, processing or manufacturing, packaging, smuggling, retailing and peddling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are disastrous. Our task, therefore, is to consciously checkmate activities of drug barons through fearless and unflinching commitment to drug control policies.

'As 2011 draws near all efforts to check activities of drug cartels must be intensified. Illicit proceeds of drug deals are lethal arsenal in the hands of criminals. It is capable of destabilizing national economic plans as well as frustrating monetary and fiscal control, thus leading to poverty, underdevelopment and anarchy. Assets derived from illicit drug trade can be used to influence political decisions and overthrow legitimate governments,' Giade stated.

This, he noted, could be done through electoral campaign donations and other forms of monetary inducement. Drug barons, who successfully channel their resources to politics may exert overbearing influence over candidates and officials, who are their beneficiaries.

In the circumstance, 'drug merchants would wield both political and economic powers, thereby making strict control and enforcement of regulations against trade in narcotics and psychotropic substances very difficult. These are the conditions that more or less prevail in countries having serious drug problem,' the NDLEA boss stressed.