Updated: February 26, 2021
Concerned anti-drug trafficking officers have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the chairman of the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, over what they described as “administrative recklessness, insensitivity, criminal neglect of officers welfare, impunity and corrupt practices”.
In a carefully worded statement to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C., the officers said Mr Adallah’s continued presence at NDLEA is “eroding public trust in the agency with pervading cases of drug and substance abuse in the country”.
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“Mr President Sir, how will you honestly feel working for over ten years without promotion?,” the officers asked in their statement signed by Musa Ahmed Yusuf.
“The truth is that there has been no promotion in NDLEA since you came in to office. The incompetence, impunity and administrative witch-hunt under Abdallah have risen to a level where an implosion is almost inevitable,” they warned.
They added: “After series of agitations by officers over the criminal neglect of their welfare and career stagnation, Abdallah in a circular dated April 3, 2018 with reference number NDLEA/ALS/ADM/100/V/90 (see attached) admitted his failure and inaction.
“He also promised to correct his mistakes. In that circular titled Issues Relating To Promotion, Abdallah stated that “I have carefully considered all the issues relating to irregular and delayed promotion in the agency and I am determined to put in place an enduring and sustainable promotion process and procedure. This is to enable the Agency achieve the desired morale for optimal productivity by the personnel”.
“The circular gave some ray of hope but this was only a hoax. Abdallah in a most irresponsible and dishonorable fashion reneged on his words in pursuit of his characteristic nonchalance and ineptitude.
“Abdallah in that circular, he promised to conclude the promotion of staff on grade level 03 to 06 by June 2018 and continue up the ladder.
In his words, “the Director of Administration and Finance is to set up a committee to examine, review and make appropriate recommendations on the promotion of personnel on COMPASS 7, some of whom have been on this rank for ten years. The promotion of officers on COMPASS 8 to 15 shall commence immediately after”.
“This also was a lie because here we are in 2019 on the same spot. The committee he constituted presented recommendations in less than a week yet he lacks initiative on what to do. He is the worst chairman ever.
“This is sad. Following further agitations in July 2018 by aggrieved officers, embattled Abdallah reluctantly released the promotion of officers on levels 3 to 6 and went into slumber again.
“Officers hereby appeal to your Excellency to end this reign of terror and mediocrity because allowing Abdallah in office a minute longer will be too detrimental to the nation’s anti-drug campaign.
According to the demoralized and disenchanted officers, the reasons for the immediate sack of Abdallah include deliberate lack of interest in officer’s promotion and welfare, lack of vision and low self-esteem, non payment of over head cost to commanders since 2016, unjustifiable travels abroad, widespread corruption and rising cases of drug and substance abuse in the country.
The officers said, “the recent establishment of the presidential committee on drugs by your Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari is an indictment against Abdallah’s poor performance”.
“Mr President, we urge you to demonstrate your love for the Nigerian youth and bring back smiles on the faces of parents whose children are hooked on drugs by sacking and prosecuting Abdallah for his callousness and innumerable administrative faux pas.
“This is a complete vote of no confidence on Abdallah. FINDINGS Mr President, NDLEA officers have not enjoyed promotion under your tenure in office. Abdallah admitted this irregular and delayed promotion in black and white yet he has failed and refused to act. Abdallah has made officers unwilling to support your second term ambition though we know that you are a good man. We still have confidence in you that is why we are writing to you sir.
“Please act fast. His action is a calculated attempt to truncate your political ambition. Abdallah is also deliberately demoralizing officers and making them unable to lunch attacks on drug barons his cronies.
“Officers have been on same salary and position for many years yet the retired Colonel is not bothered. The determination to fight the drug war enthusiastically is fast disappearing. Again, in a bizarre display of naivety and administrative confusion, Abdallah released the questionable promotion of about 37 officers based on the commendation letters he gave.
“This is unheard of because it is not the solution given the highly distorted seniority list in the Agency. In addition, the NDLEA order recommends promotion for officers with 3 commendation letters.
“Unfortunately, the myopic nature of Abdallah made him to use only one while discriminating against commendation letters by his predecessors. NDLEA has never had such a corrupt and biased Chairman. A man who can openly dishonor his circular is too morally bankrupt to lead the agency.
“Drug barons are enjoying sweat less economic boom under Abdallah. Major seizures of cocaine and heroin at the nation’s seaports, airports and borders are now over because Abdallah will neither support nor fund investigations. Methamphetamine production is thriving at its peak in the country as the only laboratory discovered in 2016 during Abdallah was actually processed by his predecessor.
“A probe of Abdallah will open a reservoir of financial worms and leadership failures. The bitterness, agonies and frustration of stagnated officers has sent many to their early graves. The casualty figure under Abdallah is unprecedented and alarming as over seventy officers have died under his misrule.
“Equally painful is the fact that their entitlement is yet to be paid thus subjecting their families to unbearable hardship while Abdallah is squandering the Agency’s monthly allocation of over 48 million on needless foreign travels. Nothing is more disenchanting than seeing the children and families of late colleagues starving and out of school.
“Most next of kin to late officers have died without getting any benefit from Abdallah. SOLUTION We demand immediate sack and trial of Abdallah. We seek the appointment of a senior officer in his stead preferably a retired General to correct the maladministration caused by Abdallah. We demand the proper placement and harmonization of officers. This will put the Agency back on track.
“It will help those who are due for retirement within the year to enjoy their years of service without arrears of promotion. We urgently demand an end to his administrative rascality and pray for the restoration of the NDLEA on the path of glory and honor again”.