By Olimatou Coker
Drug Law Enforcement Agency The Gambia (DLEAG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with its counterpart in Nigeria to strengthen intelligence and drug interdiction in a bid to dismantling and disrupting the activities of international drug trafficking networks.
In early 2017, DLEAG initiated a discussion with NDLEA of Nigeria in pursuit of partnership with anti-narcotic agencies around the world.
The MoU signing ceremony was held at Coco Ocean Resort.
Speaking, Bakary Gassama, Director of Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) said: “Indeed, I present this speech with absolute hope that our cooperation will reinforce our collective efforts in drug interdiction in the sub-region.
DG Gassama said the signing ceremony was a clear manifestation of their commitment as state parties to the three UN Drug Conventions.
He explained that DLEAG has found NDLEA as a strategic partner, not only owing to the huge experience at their disposal in drug interdiction but also based on their long-standing bilateral relation, which provides The Gambia with massive opportunities and benefits.
He went on to say that the implementation of this MOU will certainly deliver greater and model law enforcement cooperation in the region. “I am convinced that our partnership with NDLEA will be a realistic step contributing meaningfully to the efforts geared towards tackling the world drug problem.”
Buba Marwa Mohammed, Chairman and CEO NDLEA of Nigeria, said the MOU is designed collectively to combat the manufacturing, production, and trafficking of illicit drugs between the two countries and in the sub-region.
“Drug trafficking is international in scope which makes collaboration key to its successful interdiction as part of the affirmation and commitment in 2019 by our ministers at the 62nd session of the Commission on narcotic Drugs in Austria to have a balance integrated and comprehensive approach to the world drug problem based on the principle of common and shared responsibility,” Mohammed added.
Yankuba Sonko, Minister of Interior, said fighting crime is noble, but fighting drug-related crime is honorable and selfless. Thus, he said one of the most rewarding jobs any citizen can undertake is fighting drug-related crime.
“The Gambia and Nigeria are among the countries that created a single mission agency purposely to fight against drugs,” he said.
Sonko said the MOU will serve the shared and common interest of the two states on matters relating to drug trafficking and abuse. He also said the ceremony is another milestone in their quest to build a stronger and more reinforced regime of cooperation against international drug trafficking.