Naira Marley will be arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), according to Femi Babafemi, the agency’s spokesperson, if he is found in possession of illegal substances.
In an interview with Punch, he revealed this while describing how the organization purposefully worked with the contentious musician Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, for its anti-drug addiction campaign.
Critics have taken issue with a video of Naira Marley urging young people to abstain from taking illegal drugs.
Given the artist’s reputation for exalting and promoting drug use, this was particularly striking.
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.”
The spokesman for the drug agency added that just because Marley is an advocate does not mean that the agency won’t arrest him if he is found in possession of illegal drugs.
He said, “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 substances tomorrow, he will face sanctions.”
Babafemi added that critics should consider the message and not focus on the messenger.