Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) on Wednesday 25th August joined widows of deceased officers of the Agency to appreciate and pray for President Muhammadu Buhari for granting intervention fund to pay the burial entitlements of at least 188 personnel who died in active service.
Marwa and the widows spoke at a brief ceremony at the Agencys headquarters in Abuja for the payment of burial entitlements that had been pending since 2014 to the widows and families of the deceased officers. The NDLEA chairman recalled how President Buhari had equally stepped in to provide bailout funds for states twice to be able to pay workers salaries, among other pro-masses interventions by his administration. In the course of his speech, he asked the gathering to offer both Islamic and Christian prayers for the President and his government.
We owe a big thank you to President Muhammadu Buhari for his magnanimity in providing us with a special intervention fund to discharge our duty, specifically to officers and men who lost their lives in the line of duty, he stated.
According to him, Todays event is very significant to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the families of our officers and men. The prevailing solemnity cannot be helped, given that the proceedings relate principally to officers who have passed on. This presentation of burial expenses payments to their families and beneficiaries will understandably evoke painful memories and sober reflection for us all. However, the Agency finds a modicum of consolation in its ability to discharge its duty to its employees who paid the supreme price while pursuing the NDLEA mandate. Hence, this occasion is symbolic as an attestation of the resolution of the NDLEA leadership to engender an institution where the welfare of staff commands utmost priority.
While acknowledging that fighting illicit drug trafficking and abuse is a tough job, not only in Nigeria but also globally, Gen. Marwa however said that the battle is twice as dangerous due to the obvious reason that the drug abuse prevalence of our country is three times that of the global average.”
For him, this precarious matrix did not deter our personnel from performing their duty of safeguarding society from the scourge of illicit substances. Even though there had been demoralising circumstances and there are distressing conditions that could dampen their will and zeal, the officers and men of the NDLEA neither abandon their duty nor lose their sense of responsibility to society. The achievements recorded in the past seven months are a testament to the hard work and loyalty of the NDLEA workforce.
“In the same vein, the NDLEA leadership has been working strate
gically to navigate the bureaucratic labyrinth and break the gridlock that had kept the Agency at a standstill for several years. One of our objectives is to enshrine an effective workplace ecosystem where the welfare of the NDLEA staff, the prevailing working condition is at par with what is obtainable in other national security services. Moreso, we aim to engender a milieu where issues relating to the career of staff are processed according to global best practices. What we are doing today is one of such strides.
He reminded the gathering that the NDLEA is not made up of the headquarters buildings but the officers and men who work to achieve institutional goals. According to him, Whatever achievements we have to our credit, they are a product of the service, sweat and sacrifice of our officers and men. Imperatively, it is incumbent on the leadership to look after their wellbeing, cater to their welfare while they are here and even when they are no longer in service. We will do these to our maximum capability, especially for those that died in the line of duty. Otherwise, how do we convince those in service to be committed if we fail to tidy the affairs of those who lost their lives in the line of duty?
“It is to this end that we have worked assiduously and purposefully to ensure the payment of burial expenses to the families or beneficiaries of 188 personnel that we lost while on duty. Although the last payment was in 2014, I would not want us to regard todays event as a once in a blue moon development. We are presently perfecting a process that will run seamlessly such that our personnel get their emoluments, allowances and other benefits as and when due.
“We are aware of the challenges in processing life insurance claims and pension benefits from Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs). We have been in contact with these institutions for early processing of claims. For life insurance claims, we have received 30 discharge vouchers for 2017 deaths and 10 discharge vouchers for 2020 deaths from the underwriters and brokers. By discharge vouchers, it means the claims are at the last stage of payment. We are still processing other due insurance claims for other years with the relevant institutions. I have also directed that the internal group personal accident insurance scheme be resuscitated for death, medical expenses, temporary and permanent disabilities.
While apologising to the widows and families of the deceased officers and men who died in the line of duty for the late payment of the entitlements, Gen. Marwa said the best Nigeria and Nigerians can do to immortalise these late officers and men is for all to stand and join the fight against the twin evils of drug trafficking and drug abuse, the main cause for which these heroes laid down their lives.
The NDLEA shall not abdicate its responsibility to its employees. We shall continue to reinvent our administrative process to be responsive in an efficient and timely manner that will assure our officers and men that their future is well secured.
Speaking on behalf of the other widows, Mrs Khaltume Hassan Amali expressed appreciation to President Buhari for coming to the aid of NDLEA to enable the Agency meet its obligations to the families of its deceased officers. She commended the President for appointing a seasoned and an excellent administrator as Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency.
“We shall continue to pray to God to guide and protect you, your officers and men as you strive to move the Agency to greater heights. We are also grateful to you for ensuring that the widows and children of deceased officers do not suffer injustice,” she added.
Director, Media & Advocacy
NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja
Wednesday 25th August, 2021
We’re Committed to Tackling Crime, Terrorism, Gaidam Assures INTERPOL
The Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, has conveyed Nigeria’s dedication to fostering effective partnerships with INTERPOL member countries to tackle crimes, combating terrorism and maintain global peace as well as commitment to ensuring public safety and upholding the principles of justice, according to a statement signed by the Ministry’s Deputy Director, Press, Bolaji Kazeem, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP).
The Minister who led the Nigerian delegation comprising Vice President Africa (INTERPOL), AIG Umar Garba (RTD); Director, Police Inspectorate Department (PID) Mrs. Bola Blessing Aderele; Head (INTERPOL, National Crime Bureau), AIG Lanre Bankole and others are attending 91st Interpol General Assembly in Vienna, Austria to commemorate the Centenary Celebrations.
The Minister expressed optimism about the future prospects of international cooperation in combating crime and reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to working closely with Interpol and its member countries to ensure a safer, more secure world Gaidam acknowledged the pivotal role played by Interpol in promoting global security through its extensive network, data-sharing mechanisms, and operational support as well as funding of infrastructure in Nigeria.
“The centenary celebrations of Interpol served as a moment of reflection and appreciation of a century of international collaboration in law enforcement among member countries. Our active participation in the event further solidified Nigeria’s role as a responsible and proactive member of the international law enforcement community,” the Minister said.
He added: “Our presence highlighted Nigeria’s commitment to international security and cooperation as well as a renewed commitment from all member countries to work collectively in addressing the evolving challenges of crime in the 21st century.”
The Interpol General Assembly is an important platform for global law enforcement agencies to engage in constructive dialogue, exchange best practices, and strengthen collaboration in combating transnational crime.
During the assembly, discussions encompassed various topics, including the latest advancements in policing techniques, emerging security challenges, and strategies to enhance cross-border intelligence sharing.
The delegates deliberated on initiatives aimed at countering terrorism, cybercrime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and other forms of transnational criminal activities. The momentous event witnessed the gathering of 196 member countries from Africa, Asia, and Europe.
United Nigeria Airline Suspends Flight Dispatcher over Code Error
The United Nigeria Airlines (UNA) has suspended the flight dispatcher who entered the wrong code to the dispatch document on Sunday, for a flight to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, which ended up at Asaba airport..
The flight dispatcher (names withheld), according to reports, was issued a suspension letter on Tuesday, by the management of the airline following an outcry from the public, which caused the carrier avoidable embarrassment.
Although the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is already investigating the incident, the suspension of the Dispatcher will remain in place until after the conclusion of the probe.
Head, Corporate Communications, United Nigeria Airlines, Mr. Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, confirmed the suspension.
Uchegbu clarified that the suspension is not a sack, “but an action to enable investigation.”
The flight Dispatcher, on Sunday, entered into the dispatch document ABB, which is the code for Asaba International Airport, Delta State, instead of ABV, the code for Abuja airport.
Commenting on the incident, President of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Comrade Galadima Abednego, described the situation as worrisome.
Speaking in Kano at the ongoing National Air Traffic Communicators’ Association of Nigeria (NACAN) 10th Annual General Meeting/Conference, Galadima said: “I would not like to call it a diversion. It is quite a worrisome situation, where an aircraft that is Abuja bound found itself in Asaba. It has serious safety and security breaches.”
Kano Residents Protest over Appeal Court Judgment
A wave of fresh protests have broken out in the Kano metropolis as thousands of residents on Wednesday trooped to the streets demonstrating their rejection of the Appeal Court judgment sacking of Governor Abba Yusuf.
The appellate court, on September 20, upheld the verdict of the State Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay, which sacked Yusuf and declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC),Nasir Ganuwa, the authentic winner of the March 18 governorship election in the State.
The tribunal had ruled that 165,663 votes garnered by Yusuf of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) were invalid on the grounds that they were not signed or stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), thus reducing his votes to 853,939 while those of the APC rival remained at 890,705.
Yusuf, who was not satisfied with the tribunal judgment, took his case to the Appeal Court only for it to uphold the verdict.
With the outcome of the appeal court, there has been tension in the state as several groups who are in support of Yusuf have been holding sporadic protests against the ruling which they see as a travesty of justice.
Different groups had also reportedly fixed protests but were dispelled by security operatives who prevented them from going ahead with the demonstrations to prevent break down of law and order.
However, despite concerted efforts by the police and other security agencies, the protesters defied all warnings and took over the streets in the city to protest the ruling of the appeal court.
The protesters were seen carrying placards as chanting slogans like “We will not accept it”; “We will not allow it”; “Kano belongs to Abba”; “Our mandate must be restored”; “Injustice exposed in CTC”; among others.
It was gathered that efforts by security operatives to disperse the protesters were abortive as they stood their ground and refused to back off.