The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has clarified that the recent visit of music artist Afeez Adeshina Fashola, widely known as Naira Marley, to their Abuja headquarters was not in the capacity of an ambassadorial role.
During his visit earlier in the week, Marley delivered a message against drug abuse, urging Nigerians to steer clear of drugs. However, the online community was abuzz with speculation that the singer had secured an ambassadorial deal with the agency.
Dismissing these claims, NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babafemi issued a statement on Saturday, categorizing them as “misleading” and “absolutely false.”
Babafemi’s statement clarified that their interaction with the artist aimed to inspire him to employ his talents and platforms for disseminating content that discourages substance abuse among his followers and Nigerian youth.
He further emphasized that the suggestion of Naira Marley being appointed as an NDLEA Ambassador is unfounded. The visit’s images and the short video featuring Naira Marley’s message were accurately captioned and shared by the Agency without any indication of such an appointment.
The NDLEA’s decision to engage Naira Marley, who has over seven million followers, stems from the desire to utilize his influence to spread anti-substance abuse messages. The intention is to counter the promotion and glamorization of drug abuse, which could mislead countless Nigerian youths, as part of the Agency’s comprehensive approach to combating drug abuse. This aligns with global best practices and this year’s World Drug Day theme: “People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention.”