Roli Bode-George, wife of Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, Bode George, has become the first female to head the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in any capacity.
An insider confirmed the development, saying she stepped in as acting chairman Wednesday night following the retirement of Ahmadu Giade who led the agency for 10 years.
In its 25-year history, the agency has been led by Fidelis Oyakhilome, Fulani Kwajafa, Ba’ppa Jama’re, Musa Bamaiyi, Ogbonnaya Onovo, Iliya Lokadang, Bello Lafiaji and Ahmadu Giade. Mitchel Ofoyeju, spokesperson of the agency, said that Giade presented George the flag of office as he bowed out on Wednesday.
“This is the first time in the agency’s history that an outgoing chairman will successfully serve for 10 years without blemish,” he said in a statement.
Speaking at his farewell ceremony, Giade said his greatest legacy was “zero tolerance for corruption”.
”If we must continue to dislodge drug barons and eradicate drugs from our society we must remain forthright and committed to drug control programmes,” he said.
”I am also leaving behind a legacy of proactive and intelligence-led organisation. The Agency, under my watch has a representative at INTERPOL headquarters and has successfully raised the international profile of the country through unprecedented seizures of drugs and arrest of drug barons”.
“The removal of Nigeria from the majors list opened doors to a robust cooperation and partnership with stakeholders.
He said the NDLEA has witnessed unprecedented training programmes for officers sponsored by US, Germany, Spain, France and the European Union. Bode-George said: “NDLEA will continue to be proactive and operate as an intelligence-led agency.
“The agency will apply modern techniques and diligently implement the National Drug Control Master Plan in collaboration with stakeholders.”
Giade was appointed as the head of the agency in 2005, following the dismissal of Bello Lafiaji by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Bode-George as the director general of NDLEA in June 2014.
NDLEA, established in 1990, is a federal agency charged with eliminating the growing, processing, manufacturing, selling, exporting and trafficking of hard drugs.