The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa, has stated his reason for canvassing that public office holders should be made to undergo drug tests.
In an interview with reporters on Monday, Marwa stated that drug abuse is not only prevalent among the youths but among politicians and public officeholders.
The former Lagos state administrator said he called for public holders to undergo drug tests in order “to reduce the prevalence of drug abuse” in the country.
Marwa applauded Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State for directing all political office holders in the state to undergo drug tests, calling on other state governors to emulate him.
The NDLA chairman also recommended the test for students seeking admission into higher institutions, those returning from vacation and intending couples.
He said: “We need to think out of the box with the situation we face to reduce the use of drugs, especially to reduce the use of drugs for our youth, who are the bulk users of drugs.
“For instance, we feel that tertiary institutions need to do drug tests for their students before they start school or when they are returning from holidays.
“If they test positive, it will affect their progress in school. The test will help us know those that need help early enough before it gets worse.
“It is the same line of thinking, that in Nigeria, like anywhere else in the world, once a youth, after completing school and getting a job, the next thing is marriage.”
Marwa appealed to religious leaders and parents to consider adopting the test for their children and their members before marriage.
He added: “Since in Nigeria we go for genotype test, we do HIV test before marriage, voluntarily, why can’t we add drug test the list, so that it will further propel reduction in the prevalence?
“Anybody that is positive will cut back because his or her intended wife, husband or in-laws may not be comfortable.
“We believe from cutting back, he or she will stop the habit or the prospective in-laws will rally round to help.”