The spokesperson for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Femi Babafemi, has said that the agency intentionally enlisted controversial artiste, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, for its drug abuse advocacy.
Recall that criticisms trailed a video of Naira Marley advising youths to stop taking illicit substances. This was particularly so because the singer is known to glorify and encourage drug abuse.
Babafemi said in an interview, “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 drug agency’s spokesperson also noted that using Marley as an advocate did not mean that the agency won’t arrest him if he was caught with illegal substances. He said, “Last year, we arrested some of his artistes (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.