The Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC) has canvassed stakeholders support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to curb influence of hard drugs on electoral violence in the country.
The group made the call in a statement issued by its convener, Mr Ariyo-Dare Atoye, in Abuja on Sunday.
Atoye called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), leaders of political parties and the National Assembly to support NDLEA to get rid the menace of hard drugs in the country.
He said the coalition was encouraged by the determination of the agency, under the Chairman of Buba Marwa, to get rid of hard drugs.
“The decision of the NDLEA under the leadership of Marwa, to address the dangerous influence of drugs during elections is indeed strategic to curbing electoral violence in the country.
“This initiative must be supported by all stakeholders.
“We want INEC, the leadership of leading political parties, military and other paramilitary bodies, foreign electoral partners and other stakeholders to mobilise strategic support for the NDLEA.
“This will help in addressing the most potent factor and group aiding electoral violence in the country.
“As a civil society organisation, CDNDC will support the NDLEA in its nationwide enlightenment campaigns to tackle the menace of drugs.
“We shall equally come up with a special advocacy plan that will address the influence of drugs in politics, campaigns and elections.
“Today, the NDLEA is in a competent hand who, as a patriotic commitment, has taken up the onerous responsibility of ridding the country of illicit drugs.
“Therefore, the federal government, national assembly, state governors, foreign partners and international agencies must support his effort with the necessary funds and instruments to combat illicit drugs and the cartels,” he said.
Atoye also stressed the need to improve the budgetary allocations for the agency.
He advised the Federal Government to allocate a percentage of income generated by a major revenue generating agency to the NDLEA to meet its obligations to the country.
Atoye commended the leadership of Marwa for the new vista of hope in the NDLEA and the reawakening he had brought to the fight against hard and illicit drugs in the country.
He also commended Marwa for his efforts to give victims, most especially youths, a second chance to have a better life. (NAN)