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NDLEA denies claims of making Naira Marley its ambassador

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said it did not appoint Naira Marley as its ambassador.

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The agency made this known in a statement issued by its Spokesman, Femi Babafemi on Saturday.

Naira Marley and officials of NDLEA

Naira Marley and officials of NDLEA

Babafemi in the statement, reacted to public outcry and criticisms of the Agency’s purpoted appointment of Naira Marley as its brand ambassador and referred to the reports as an “outright falsehood.”

Babafemi stated that the agency only engaged the artist to encourage him to use his skills and platforms to put out contents that will discourage millions of his followers and Nigerian youths from substance abuse.

It said that the music star has not been appointed as its ambassador.

Recall that on Thursday, the artiste reportedly led members of his team on a visit to the National Headquarters of the agency in Abuja to express his preparedness to join the fight against drug abuse in the country.

Following his posts on social media and that of the agency, particularly on Twitter now X, several Nigerians have reacted differently with many people saying it was unreasonable for the NDLEA to make Naira Marley their choice for brand ambassador.

Nigerian actress cum politician, Tonto Dikeh reportedly unfollowed the agency’s social media account following the development.

In an Instagram post, Tonto Dikeh frowned over the singer’s decision to join NDLEA in fighting drug abuse saying it is a big embarrassment to the agency.

She wrote: “I don’t involve myself in bullshit, especially other people’s bullshit…
This I must say is the biggest embarrassment from any government agency/drug law enforcement agency…

“I wld like to say more but I’ll wait for @ndlea_nigeria to pick me up for an interview… And if I’m replied I’ll gladly respond disrespectfully…….

“You know my address, I’ll ask you do it respectfully otherwise we’ll have a problem. I have absolutely nothing wrong on the said artist but the government”

Meanwhile, spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement, said this clarification became necessary following continued misrepresentation of the purpose of the visit especially on online platforms where some reports suggest that the British-Nigerian singer was appointed as an NDLEA ambassador.

The statement reads: “This is misleading and absolute falsehood as the pictures of the visit and the short video containing Naira Marley’s advocacy message to his followers were properly captioned and shared by the Agency without any suggestion of such appointment.

“The decision by the Agency to encourage Naira Marley with over seven million followers, half the population of those who abuse drugs in Nigeria, use his platform share anti-substance abuse messages as against using same to promote and glamourize drug abuse with the dire consequence of misleading millions of Nigerian youths into their peril, is to create a balance between our drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts.

“This is also in line with the Agency’s whole society approach to the fight against drug abuse, and in tune with global best practice as well as the theme for this year’s World Drug Day; People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention.

“When an artiste, who professes marijuana is good to seven million followers turns a new leaf after some serious counselling, do we reject him, turn our back to him and allow him continue in his old habit or we accept him, give him a chance so he can reach out to his followers to quit substance abuse.

“In other words, why should we take our anti-drug abuse advocacy messages to schools, churches, mosques, market places, motor parks, Nollywood, kannywood, traditional rulers, labour and the entertainment industry but when one of their members accepts to turn a new leaf, we turn our back to him? These are questions those opposed to Naira Marley’s needed change may have to ponder on.

“Indeed, no one is better suited to take the message against drug abuse to the Marlians than the head of the same movement. This is no time for mischief or cynicism but the right moment we all need to encourage the singer and hold him accountable to his public commitment against substance abuse in his video message to his followers in the overall interest of our youths.”

Recall that Naira Marley had in the past been arrested alongside his signees for drug offences when NDLEA raided his home.

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Comments (1)
  1. Elmuztharpha A isah

    11 months ago

    Omo dis matter gida far Oo May they agree give Maura now is d person dat make dis Young happy

    Reply

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