The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Muhammed Marwa, has solicited the support of ex-boys of the Nigerian Military School (NMS) to eradicate illicit drugs in Nigeria.
Marwa made the call at the Dinner of the NMS 96 Ex-Boys Foundation in commemoration of their 20 years reunion on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that 15 million Nigerians were involved in illicit drugs usage in Nigeria, adding that there was drug scourge in every community in Nigeria.
According to him, it doesn’t discriminate whether you are a Yoruba or Fulani or Igbo or Tiv, whether you are a Muslim or Christian, whether you are a male or female.
“The drug scourge is biting hard with 15 million Nigerians. Not only is it destroying our families and our communities, it is also as we know, behind the criminality, insurgency, banditry and kidnappings, they all use drugs for getting into it.
“So we need all Nigerians and NMS ex-boys have to be at the forefront because, since I am there as the chairman, you are all there and you have to take the fight personally.
“And the best form of effort that I would expect from you is to fight the drug demand and face the consumers because the consumers are the markets.
“As parents, I will like you to take your rightful spot and bring our children up properly.
“In all your communities, your businesses, your organisations wherever you work, set up a small committee called War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) and take full advantage of your Pastors, Imams, Bishops, clergies, traditional institutions, NGOs, village committees and so on to chase this matter of drug abuse out of Nigeria,” he said.
Reminiscing his experience at NMS as 1966 set, Marwa said the NMS was and had remained an institution that promoted national unity where tribalism was never an issue.
He said that even though the school’s academic staff during his time at NMS were about 90 per cent of Yoruba extraction, the common goal was discipline and patriotism.
He said in the NMS, they were taught the ethos of leadership, patriotism and national pride and there was no tribalism but hard work.
The National President of NMS Ex-Boys Association, Mr Femi Ikuponiyi, said the alumni had commenced efforts to participate in the WADA exercise of the NDLEA.
Ikuponiyi said they had developed some context that they planned to make a presentation on the agency.
According to him, the ex-boys have also used the state chapters to form associations because of their presence in most of the federal institutions to be coordinated by the state chapters.
“So we assure you that we are in this fight together all the way and that is the spirit,” he said.
The Chairman, NMS 96 ExBoys, Akin Philips, said the purpose of NMS was to foster the unity of Nigeria where the candidates were selected from all states of the federation on merit to undergo military and academic training.
Philips said the 20th anniversary of NMS 96 after passingout in 2002, was to continue to foster the brotherhood that had existed amongst them and as well as the unity of Nigeria.
He said the reunion had enabled them to reach out to the families of their colleagues that had passed on and remembered them as well as giving back to the society through humanitarian activities.
According to him, some of their mates have died while serving the country in the cause of the ongoing war against insurgency and other security challenges.
“So what we did was that we paid visit to their families, their kids, and wives and we handed them some packages.
“Most of them paid the ultimate price by sacrificing their lives while defending the nation.
“We also visited an orphanage as part of our humanitarian activities,” he said. (NAN)