By Maureen Okon
The Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) are expected to work together to build more rehabilitation centers in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr. Gabriel Odu, of the Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit of NiDCOM and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
NiDCOM chief executive officer Abike Dabiri-Erewa said this on Friday, during a courtesy call on the retired brigadier general. Muhammadu Marwa, President of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in his office.
Dabiri-Erewa said that with the alarming rate of drug addiction in the country, some Nigerians in the diaspora have shown interest in building rehabilitation centers across the country, but their main challenge is space and land.
According to her, most of them are even ready to offer free counseling services.
She further said that the visit to NDLEA had become timely in the context of Zainab Aliyu’s May 14, 2019 case in Saudi Arabia.
“It should be recalled that Zainab Aliyu was allegedly accused of drug trafficking and therefore sentenced to death, but thanks to the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, facilitated by the Commission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerians in the Diaspora, NiDCOM, she was released. Ibrahim Ibrahim was also released.
“What’s intriguing here is that judgment on the matter has yet to be passed, which leaves room for the culprits to roam free without being guided or hindered.
“The culprits have been apprehended but they are walking around freely. It’s been two years and nothing has been done, ”she said.
Zainab Aliyu, who was present during the visit with his sister, appreciated President Buhari’s intervention in his case and also pleaded for justice to be done.
“My case has been in court for over two years and a few months now. All I want is justice for me and for other victims like me, ”she said.
NDLEA President Marwa congratulated NiDCOM on its excellent public image and achievements in a short period of time.
He said he was interested in the case and assured his office would not give in until justice was done.
Marwa assured that airports are now stricter and that efforts have been stepped up to protect innocent citizens.
He added that if measures were put in place at airports, drug-related incidents would be reduced.
Marwa also praised the NiDCOM initiative where Nigerians in the diaspora engage in awareness raising and counseling against drug use, abuse and trafficking, especially by young adults.
Welcoming NiDCOM’s initiative for diasporas to build more rehabilitation centers across the country, Marwa said more rehabilitation centers are definitely needed.
“As we seize and prosecute, we should also take into account those who abuse substances and find ways to rehabilitate them,” he said.
Marwa also said President Buhari was keen on reducing the demand for drugs and called for it to be balanced. (NAA)