The Chairman/Chief Executive, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd.) has called for more synergy among members of West African countries to further curb drug trafficking and other organised crimes.
Abdallah made this known at a 5-day Joint Training and Operations along Nigeria and Niger Republic borders of Illela-Konni and Rafin-duma.
The programme was organised in Sokoto, by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in conjunction with INTERPOL
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the NDLEA boss assured that his Agency would not spare any efforts in ensuring that the West African sub-region is protected against the scourge of illicit drug trafficking.
He noted that there is an existing robust Protocol between Nigeria and Niger Republic aimed to rid the region of illicit drugs, organized crimes and falsified medicines.
He also disclosed that the Agency is currently working out modalities to engage member states of the sub-region in bilateral agreements and signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which according to him, will strengthen cooperation, enhance intelligence sharing and mitigate constraints.
“My administration will not spare any efforts to make the protocol between Niger Republic and Nigeria to be more proactive.”
“We have resolved to ensure that there will be no weak or safe Haven for the various organized criminalities in the sub-region.
Also speaking, the ECOWAS President, His Excellency, Marcel de Souza, represented by Dieng Abdourahmane, Head of Regional Security Division and West African Police Chief’s Committee (WAPCCO) Permanent Secretary noted that West Africa is a regional “hub” for the production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs and other related crimes.
He said lack of effective management and control of West Africa land, sea and air borders foster the prevalence of illicit drug trafficking and organised crimes.
“This Joint Operation is organized to bring about the required synergy and coordination in the framework of the fight against illicit drug trafficking and other trans-border organized crimes.
“ECOWAS remains committed to building on what we have achieved so far in Regional Security.”
In his contribution, the representative of NIGER Republic Team to the joint training and operations Salifou Assoumane, Commissioner of Police, thanked the organizers of the programme and pledged the commitment of Niger Republic Team to the efforts of the ECOWAS to rid NIGERIA/NIGER borders of illicit drug trafficking, criminal networks and falsified medicines.
He noted that this reduction in crime rates would help control the flow of illicit drug trafficking in the region and would bring a lasting peace for law abiding citizens in the area.
In his own remarks, the INTERPOL Representative Mr. Halidu Illo said the training would be followed by a three-day operation code named: ‘OPERATION NINIBO’, aimed at clamping down on illicit drugs activities and other organized crimes, including recovery of Stolen Motor Vehicles (SMV) alongside other vital documents in the region.
Participants were trained on detection of mode of concealment of illicit drugs by drug traffickers.