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NDLEA, NPFL Partner on Drug Test for Footballers

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) have agreed to collaborate on the conduct of drug test for footballers in order to mitigate the menace of substance abuse in Nigeria.

This was one of the highpoints of discussions between the leadership of the agency and the football league as disclosed in a statement issued by NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Mr. Femi Babafemi after their meeting on Friday.

According to the statement, the NPFL delegates were led by the Chairman of the board, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye; ex-international, Daniel Amokachi; Chairman of Sokoto State Football Association, Mohammed Saidu Nasiru; Chief Operating Officer of the NPFL, Davidson Owumi and Head of Legal, NPFL, Uche George Egbe on a courtesy visit to the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) in Abuja.

In his remarks, Hon. Elegbeleye acknowledged the inspiring and impactful leadership Gen. Marwa has given NDLEA to become a frontline law enforcement agency now respected home and abroad.

He stated that the activities of the agency have not only raised national awareness about the drug scourge but have equally curbed the impunity of drug cartels and barons.

The NPFL boss also said that part of the problems facing the sports industry in Nigeria, especially football is betting and the use of performance enhancing drugs by footballers.

He further revealed that he had to reach out to the agency for partnership to salvage the situation.

His words: “The only agency that can save this situation is NDLEA by working with us to carry out random drug test on our players. Once they know we conduct drug test, they will refrain from abuse of illicit substances. This is why we seek the support and partnership with NDLEA.”

Meanwhile, Gen. Marwa commended the Hon. Elegbeleye for his giant strides and innovations to build the Nigerian league.

The NDLEA boss assured that the agency won’t relent in its offensive action against drug cartels in the country.

Similarly, he expressed the willingness of NDLEA to partner with NPFL to curb abuse of illicit substances by footballers.

Gen. Marwa said: “We are happy with your request for random drug test for players. This is available in all our commands nationwide and we are ready to work with you in this respect. We are very ready to collaborate and support you in your quest.”

He also advised the league body to consider mobilizing star footballers to get involved in open advocacy against drug abuse, stressing that a lot of youths look up to them as role models.

 

Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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