The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has vowed to arrest and prosecute the controversial artiste, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, if he is caught with dr¥gs regardless of their partnership.
The Director, Media and Advocacy for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a chat with Punch Newspaper. He explained that the agency purposely enlisted Naira Marley for its drug abuse advocacy because of young followers popularly known as ‘Marlians’ that look up to him as a role model.
This is coming after Nigerians took to social media to berate the engagement of controversial singer and songwriter, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, as an advocate for NDLEA to campaign against dr¥g ab¥s£ in the country.
It reported that criticism followed a statement issued by Babafemi on Thursday, announcing the agency’s partnership with Naira Marley to campaign against the usage and possession of illegal s¥bstances and hard dr¥gs.
But justifying the agency’s choice to use Naira Marley as its advocate on its campaign against dr¥g ab¥s£ in the country, Babafemi said it doesn’t stop the agency from arresting and prosecuting him if caught with dr¥gs.
He said, “It is an advocacy engagement with him. It’s what we do as part of the responsibilities of the agency to promote advocacy messages that would discourage people from substance ab¥s£. 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 ab¥s£, and live a new life.”
He added, “Last year, we arrested some of his artists (Zinoleesky and Mohbad). That is to show that we are not closing our eyes. If the same Naira Marley is caught with illicit s¥bstanc£s tomorrow, he will face sanctions.”