By EMEKA IBEMERE
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has debunked story making the rounds against the Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, Alhaji Muhammad Abdallah, describing the allegations as the handwork of nefarious activities of a group of individuals fronting for some drug syndicates who are sponsoring unfounded allegations of wrong doings to blackmail the leadership of the Agency.
According to the Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs, Jonah Achema, these individuals who go by the name; “Concerned NDLEA Officers”, are allegedly using one pseudo name; Musa Ahmed Yusuf to circulate petitions against the Chairman/Chief Executive and Directors of the Agency, adding that the ochestrated allegations are a panic device by the men of the underworld who are troubled by the unprecedented counter-narcotic strategies being put in place by the Chairman/Chief Executive of the agency
“The Media should not allow itself to be misled by the well rehashed and recycled petition by these desperate individuals who keep changing the date of the petition that they have been circulating for months. Some months back, the Agency had painstakingly responded to all the so-called issues raised in a well publicised Press Release”, he added.
“The Agency is, however, delighted that some credible media organizations have rebuffed entreaties of these unscrupulous elements by insisting that the petitions be supported with facts, which they have been unable to provide. This explains why the blackmailers have resorted to the social media. It is a well known doctrine in Law that he who alleges must prove”.
Acheme stated that tt wasn’t enough to be brandishing allegations without any shred of evidence which he alluded to be the only stock in trade of this set of individuals adding that such activities only amounts to wishful thinking and sheer media orchestration against the Agency.
“Do the petitioners need to be told where to direct their petitions? There are many anti-graft agencies in the country and we challenge them to do so. NDLEA’s internal control mechanism against any misconduct by its officers has never been faulted”, he queried.
According to the Agency, it finds it unimaginable that some persons could be as mischievous and inhuman as to politicize and trivialize the unfortunate death of officers by attributing such deaths to frustration arising from the mismanagement of the Agency.
“It is illogical to claim that longevity of a worker is solely determined by the working condition of the organization. While efforts are on going to improve the working condition of the Agency, NDLEA’s working condition is at par with those of other security agencies in the country. The same health policy that applies to all government organizations is enjoyed by the Agency”, he claimed.
“Besides, the facilities of Military Hospitals are at the disposal of NDLEA officers. The petitioners have failed to realize that the average life expectancy in the country is about 50 years and an average officer that has put in 27 years should be within the threshold of the country’s life expectancy”.
Acheme said for the avoidance of doubt, that virtually all the late officers listed by the agitators died of natural causes mostly from ailments that have no correlation with the work environment.
“A few others died of motor accidents. Only three of the officers were killed by assailants in October 2017 in Kogi State, suggesting that the Agency is getting increasingly professional in the discharge of its duties. The list of deceased officers being paraded by these mischief makers is a presentation made by the Agency to the relevant authorities in pursuit of the late officers’ benefits”.
He stated that the death of any single officer has remained a great source of grief to the Agency, which calls for sympathy.
“It is out of concern that the Agency has for any of its deceased officers that it instituted a fund as a stop-gap to assist the family of the deceased pending the maturation of their terminal benefits. Contrary to claims that the Agency’s international collaborators are displeased with the present management, the Agency has continued to enjoy robust training and logistic support and exchange of intelligence from the international partners”, Acheme said.
According to him, efforts made by the Chairman and Chief Executive to improve the working conditions of the Agency are well documented and are eliciting the right attention from appropriate authorities.
“The Agency assures the general public that Col. Abdallah, schooled in the art of symmetric and asymmetric warfare is cut out for the job and will in no distant time drive underground all the unrepentant drug merchants”, Acheme said.