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We Chose Naira Marley As Our Advocate Because He Turned New Leaf – NDLEA

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said it chose Nigerian artiste, Azeez Fashola popularly called Naira Marley as its advocate in the fight against drug abuse because he turned a new leaf.

According to the agency, it would have been wrong to turn against the controversial musician having seen he has changed.

The agency stated this in response to criticism that has followed the visit of the controversial musician to the agency’s office ejn Abuja on Thursday.

It said it became necessary to clarify the purpose of the visit which it said was to advocate against the use of drugs.

Recall the musician during the visit on Thursday, met with the agency’s Director General, Brig.Gen Mohamed Bawa (rtd), where they posed for a photograph that was widely shared across social media and news channels.

The agency in a statement on Saturday by its spokesman, Femi Babafemi said it became necessary to clarify the purpose of the visit “following continued misrepresentation of the purpose of the visit,” noting that it only received the artiste and his team who came to express their preparedness to join the fight against drug abuse in the country.

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

Rather, the agency said Marley’s visit “is to encourage him to use his skills and platforms to put out content that will discourage millions of his followers and Nigerian youths from substance abuse.

“To encourage Naira Marley with over seven million followers, half the population of those who abuse drugs in Nigeria, to use his platform to share anti-substance abuse messages against promoting and glamourising drug abuse.

And “to create a balance between our drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts in line with the Agency’s whole society approach to the fight against drug abuse, and in tune with global best practice.”

The NDLEA also said it is also to “encourage the singer and hold him accountable for his public commitment against substance abuse in his video message to his followers in the overall interest of our youths.”

It stressed that it aimed to “make the head of the Marlain movement which the artiste had started – a name coined to promote rascality and lack of morality among the youths – lead the message against drug abuse to those who he once influenced.”

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