Tinubu calls for intense fight against drug trafficking in Africa
He states the necessity of global partnerships to effectively combat drug-related issues.
The President emphasised the urgent need to break free from the clutches of drug barons and syndicates that continue to plague the African continent.
President Tinubu delivered this stern warning during the opening ceremony of the 31st meeting of the Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies, Africa (HONLAF) at the Abuja Continental Hotel on Tuesday.
"If we don't dismantle the criminal enterprises threatening our future and work towards a brighter tomorrow for all Africans, we will remain shackled in a diseased and amoral world, as will our children and their children," President Tinubu cautioned the leaders of anti-narcotics agencies in attendance.
The President's keynote address, titled 'Rising above the drug threat,' highlighted the gravity of the situation, asserting that Africa faces a menace that recognises no boundaries of race, geography, gender, or social class.
He called upon the heads of drug law enforcement agencies to view the conference in Abuja as a beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive change across the continent.
President Tinubu expressed his deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by these officials in the pursuit of a drug-free world, stating, "Without the moral commitment of the men and women in this room, this threat would have left cities, countries, and even civilisations erased."
He continued by acknowledging the continuous efforts of criminal organizations to infiltrate African countries, attempting to corrupt the minds of their citizens. Despite these challenges, the President commended the anti-narcotics agencies for their unwavering resolve.
President Tinubu, who also chairs the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), emphasised the importance of the anti-narcotics agencies as gatekeepers of healthy nations. He reiterated the moral imperative of their mission, highlighting that the well-being of African youth and communities hinges on eradicating the drug threat.
The President further stressed the need for these agencies to strengthen their operational partnerships and cooperation at both sub-regional and regional levels to make it more challenging for illicit drugs and drug syndicates to operate within Africa.
Regarding Nigeria's hosting of the conference, President Tinubu commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for its relentless efforts in combatting illicit drugs. He affirmed Nigeria's commitment to a world free from the menace of drug infiltration.
In his declaration to open the meeting, President Tinubu encouraged the attendees to find time amidst their busy schedules to experience the beauty and hospitality of Abuja while expressing gratitude for their dedication and resolve in addressing this noble cause.
The event also saw welcoming remarks from Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), who emphasised Nigeria's commitment to the objectives of multilateral organisations in the fight against drug trafficking.
He stressed the necessity of global partnerships to effectively combat drug-related issues, acknowledging that no single entity can tackle the world's drug problem in isolation.
Prominent figures, including Ghada Fathi Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), Oliver Stolpe, UNODC Country Representative, Ayodele Adeleke, Commandant of the National Institute for Security Studies, and Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the representative of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, also addressed the gathering during the opening session of the meeting.
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