Drug tests for politicians underscore epidemic level – AAGI

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aad ndlea x

From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

The request by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on political parties to conduct drug integrity tests for aspirants is another wake-up call to the epidemic nature of drugs in Nigeria, the Adopt A Goal Initiative (AAGI) has said.

The Civil Society group said the nationwide agitation caused by the call was a significant score for the NDLEA to alert politicians and policymakers to the penetrating danger of drug abuse.

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“We commend the patriotic zeal and courage of the Chairman of the NDLEA, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (retd.), for making that soul-searching call that pricked the conscience of the political class,” said AAGI in a statement on Sunday by its Executive Director, Ariyo-Dare Atoye.

“We may not be able to ascertain the contribution of drugs to moral decay in leadership and bad governance that has affected millions of Nigerians, except we agree with the recommendation of Gen. Marwa.

“If the political parties had accepted to include drug tests in their screening process, it would have substantially committed the next set of leaders from 2023 to partner with the NDLEA to fight the drug scourge in the country.

“Because the NDLEA will not come out to mention names of individuals but statistics, many Nigerians may not know that there are prominent families and individuals in the corridor of power battling with drug addiction.

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“Mental health is the most critical factor in leadership thinking and action; if drugs mess it up, the people will also suffer from abuse of power and poor direction of affairs.

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“For too long, our politicians have dithered over the scourge of drugs, and it is high time they did something about it and fully supported the NDLEA with the resources required to fight it.

“We wish to urge the NDLEA and Nigeria’s Drug Czar, Gen Marwa, not to be discouraged by the carefree attitude of the political parties and their leadership to a well thought out request that will do the country a lot of good.

“As a civil society group, we will continue to support the NDLEA to adopt every necessary measure to combat the epidemic of drugs, including exploring the possibility of future commitment of these political parties and actors.

“Every concerned individual must commit to the pledge of fighting the drug cancer that is eating away the future of many and threatening the security and peace of our society,” the statement added.

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