The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said its drug advocate and Nigerian artiste, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, will be arrested if he is caught with illegal substances.
Goldennewsng reports that the agency’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, said this while reacting to the criticism that trailed the use of the controversial singer for its drug abuse advocacy.
Recall that Naira Marley had on Thursday visited the Chairman of the agency, Buba Marwa, in his office in Abuja, and advised youths to stop taking illicit substances.
Following the visit, some Nigerians took to social media to slam the NDLEA for using the singer known to glorify and encourage drug abuse in his songs as a drug advocate.
But in an interview with The Punch, Babafemi said using Marley as an advocate did not mean that the agency won’t arrest him if he was caught with drugs tomorrow.
He also stated that the agency intentionally enlisted the controversial artiste for its drug abuse advocacy because he has a lot of young followers, and they listen to him.
Babafemi, therefore, urged critics to consider the message and not focus on the messenger.
He said, “It is an advocacy engagement with him. It is what we do as part of the responsibilities of the agency to promote advocacy messages that would discourage people from substance abuse. It is about the message.
“Don’t forget that he has a lot of young followers— Marlians— that look up to him. The idea is for the leader of the movement (Marlians) to come out and ask people to stop substance abuse and live a new life.
“Last year, we arrested some of his artistes (Zinoleesky and Mohbad). That is to show that we are not closing our eyes. If the same Naira Marley is caught with illicit substances tomorrow, he will face sanctions.”