The African Council on Narcotics (ACON) has recommended that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) temporarily suspend Azeez Adeshina Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, from his role as an ambassador pending the completion of an investigation into the tragic passing of Nigeria’s young musical talent, Ilerioluwa Oladimeni Aloba, also known as MOHBAD.
ACON has also advised government agencies considering appointing brand ambassadors to thoroughly assess the individuals in question to ensure they are suitable and morally upright representatives, capable of upholding the brand’s integrity, rather than potentially exerting a negative influence on the target audience.
Rekpene Bassey, the President of ACON, emphasized that the primary purpose of appointing a brand ambassador is to promote a positive image for the brand. This advice comes amid the controversy and various opinions surrounding MOHBAD’s untimely death on September 12, 2023, and the alleged hasty burial in Ikorodu, Lagos, within 24 hours.
Bassey in the statement said, “In the wake of this, the Nigeria Police authorities directed detailed special homicide inquest into the cause of his death.Consequently, the homicide investigators swung into action with several steps including the exhuming of his remains for autopsy.
“Several persons are being interrogated and/or interviewed over the case. All of these are being done because of the suspicion that his death was masterminded through forced ingestion of some deadly substances by certain folks who were directly or indirectly connected to him.
“However, as we await the outcome of official security investigation into the case, it may be 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 National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) – Nigeria’s foremost anti-drug agency.
“Naira Marley hardly represents any strong positive social energy as can be seen in his public conduct and the character traits of the so-called Marlians modelling after him.
“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?”
Continuing, he said, ” The essence of appointing a brand ambassador is to showcase a positive drive for the brand. To engage someone whose outward conduct is seemingly antithetical to what the NDLEA represents is tantamount to official endorsement of what the agency is 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.
“Going forward, government agencies intending to confer brand ambassadors on proposed persons must carefully profile such a person(s) to be certain they are 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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