The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), has said they intentionally enlisted controversial rapper, Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley as an ambassador for its drug abuse advocacy.
NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi made this known in an interview with Saturday Beats as he explained that the artiste was chosen because he’s the leader of the movement, ‘Marlians’ which has a large following, particularly among the youths.
It may be recalled that the internet was agog within the week when photos and videos of Naira Marley at the agency’s office surfaced, and this was because the singer is known to glorify and encourage drug abuse. The ‘Tesumole’ crooner had also advised young Nigerians to stop taking illicit substances.
Speaking on the agency’s decision, Babafemi 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.”
He also noted that using Marley as an advocate did not mean that the agency won’t arrest him if he was caught with illegal substances. Babafemi added that critics should consider the message and not focus on the messenger.
“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,” he said.
Amid the controversy that the ambassadorial unveiling stirred online, popular actress was among those that criticised the choice of Naira Marley.
She wrote; “NDLEA, you are looking like a disgrace. This is not an insult, but this is from a daughter of the soil speaking out on your misconduct.
“I don’t involve myself in rubbish, especially that of other people. This, I must say, is the biggest embarrassment from any government agency/drug law enforcement agency. I would like to say more, but I’ll wait for NDLEA to pick me up for an interview/drug test/or just a chat. You know my address. I ask you to do it respectfully; otherwise we’ll have a problem. And, if I am replied I would gladly respond disrespectfully.”Follow us on social media:
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