The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Monday, completed a two-week training on Counter Terrorism for 143 personnel at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, NASI, in Jaji, Kaduna state.
Addressing the graduands, the NDLEA Chairman, Muhammad Marwa, said the choice of the venue was informed by the need to acquaint the trainees with the rudiments and complexities of combating drugs in various terrains across the country.
Mr Marwa who noted that the training was the first of its kind, explained that it would be a valuable addition to the agency, particularly in warfare operations.
“The training is aimed at preparing agents of the NDLEA towards handling more complex challenges which have characterised the contemporary drug world.
“My plan is for the personnel to grow into a formidable force that can operate in forests, swaps, cities and everywhere in the country.
“We have lost many personnel in the last 15 years. We have lost 188 officers in the line of duty and I know that the training here will better prepare us to face challenges ahead
“We will arm and equip them and provide them with all the necessities of work and we will try to always be two steps ahead of drug barons and peddlers,” he said.
Mr Marwa warned drug traffickers and barons to quit the illegal business and engage in other legitimate means of livelihood, adding that if they persist, they would surely be arrested.
“The strike force personnel we have just trained here is just a tip of the spear.
“They are readily prepared to be deployed in forests where hemps are cultivated, the cities, work places swaps, dry lands and every where,” he said.
While commending the Chief of Army Staff for approving the venue, the NDLEA chief urged the graduand to exhibit high sense of discipline and professionalism in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Earlier the Commandant of NASI, Maude Gadzama, said the two-week course involved intensive training in weapon handling and counter terrorism operations.
Mr Gadzama, who emphasised the relevance of the course, noted that he noted that the activities of the drug barons had continued to threaten global peace and security, adding that “Nigeria is not immuned”.
He assured that the training has exposed the NDLEA personnel to the basic tenets, techniques and requisite skills of dealing with special operations.
“Acts of terrorism and insurgency as well as the challenges presented by political unrest and a growing trend of criminal elements are all attributed to the activities of drug peddlers.
“The need to secure the populace and national resources has therefore, spurred the NDLEA to invest in specialised training in order to effectively deal with the challenges,” he said.
He congratulated the graduands and urged them not to rest on their oars but continue to strive harder in their future endeavours.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the personnel had been trained in weapon handling, VIP protection, venue security, counter terrorism, ambush drills, rappelling, house clearing, cordon and search among other special operations.