The African Council on Narcotics (ACON) has called on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to suspend Naira Marley as its ambassador, pending the outcome of an investigation into the death of musician MOHBAD.
ACON President Rekpene Bassey said in a statement on Thursday that the council’s advice was coming on the heels of the controversy and diverse comments surrounding MOHBAD’s death on September 12, 2023, and his alleged hurried internment within 24 hours at Ikorodu in Lagos.
Bassey said that the Nigeria Police authorities had directed a detailed special homicide inquest into the cause of MOHBAD’s death, and that homicide investigators had swung into action, including exhuming his remains for autopsy.
He said that several persons were being interrogated and/or interviewed over the case, all of which was being done because of the suspicion that MOHBAD’s death was masterminded through forced ingestion of some deadly substances by certain folks who were directly or indirectly connected to him.
Bassey said that in the wake of this, it was expedient to question the rationale for the engagement of one of those suspected to be the brains behind MOHBAD’s death, namely Azeez Adeshina Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, as an ambassador of the NDLEA.
He said that Naira Marley hardly represented any strong positive social energy, as could be seen in his public conduct and the character traits of the so-called Marlians modelling after him.
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“Most of them are deviants, to say the least; engulfed in youth bulge, cultism, petty criminality, internet fraud and the abuse of dangerous drugs. How can such fellow be a role model for our youth?” Bassey asked.
He said that the essence of appointing a brand ambassador was to showcase a positive drive for the brand, and that to engage someone whose outward conduct was seemingly antithetical to what the NDLEA represented was tantamount to official endorsement of what the agency was supposed to be against.
“We hereby call upon the NDLEA to stand down that appointment so as not to create a wrong impression on the psyche of our youth, particularly at this time,” Bassey said.
He added that going forward, government agencies intending to confer brand ambassadors on proposed persons must carefully profile such a person(s) to be certain they were fit and proper persons capable of flying the brand flag untainted and very high, rather than bringing bad influence on those being targeted by the brand.
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