NDLEA Make Serious Demands Of Political Aspirants over the 2023 elections.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has sent a message to political parties regarding drugs.
The NDLEA chairman, Buba Marwa made this request at the first-quarter of the Best Performing Commands Awards ceremony in Abuja.
He said Nigeria Medical Association supported the test for drugs for political aspirants ahead of the 2023 elections.
In a chat with newsmen, Marwa said that he had written a letter to the Chaiman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Adama. He added that another one would be drafted to the Peoples Democratic Party and 16 other political parties.
““For politicians, we have long advocated and I take the opportunity again to repeat the advocacy that when they run for public office it demands a lot of responsibility from the person and we need to be certain if he’s a person that is already a drug addict/user who will spend all the money he’s given for public service to consume cocaine and his head will not be in a stable condition to handle the affairs he has been entrusted with.
“For this reason, we have advocated and will continue to advocate that drug test be conducted for politicians; some state governments like Kano State are already doing this.
“Not just politicians, but government appointees, and I’ve just sent a letter this morning to the national chairman of the APC, who will be the first of the National Working Committee I wish to pay an advocacy visit on this issue.
“I recommended that drug tests be incorporated in the screening process for all those interested in running for public office; we’ll do the same to the PDP and other important parties.”
The National youth President of the NMA professor Innocent Ujah said leaders who are free of drug
Abuse would lead the country well.
“There are schools doing drug tests for their students. Are you aware? There is a reason for that. Health is the state of physical mental and social well-being and not necessarily the absence of disease
“So obviously if a person takes drugs, is the person in a good state of mind to govern Nigeria? It is a health issue, it also affects governance but I don’t expect anyone governing Nigeria to be on drugs but it is a possibility.
“The NMA will not have any objection to that. Even if not for politics, we want to ensure that everyone is in the correct state of mind. As a doctor, we do clinical examinations for fitness for instance.”
NDLEA quizzes constitutional backing of the law
The Nigerian Bar Association said the drug tests can only be enforced if it had legal backings.
It then urged the NDLEA to first submit all bills seeking to make it a law.
The NBA spokesman Rapuluchukwu Nduka faulted the law because there is no such provision in the constitution.
“I don’t think there is any law in that regard. But when you look at the kind of leaders and leadership we have in this country, it may make sense to actually ask the people who want to take up positions to do some drug tests.
“For me, it may not even just stop at drug tests they may also need to do some tests to check their mental capacity and certain other things about their health. But apart from that, until a law is passed to that effect, the NDLEA can only suggest while parties can make it part of their policy. So, aspirants can’t be forced to do drug tests because they want to run for political office.”
On how this drug test can influence politicking in Nigeria, Ndukkw said this boils down to the parties rule.
“For a person to present himself for election, he must have gone through the party’s structure before the party allows him to run for election. So, if the party makes it part of their rules, that if you don’t present yourself for drug tests you can’t be given its ticket, then that will become a party thing.
“So, any person who decides to run on the party’s platform will now abide by the dictates of the party. I think that’s how it can be done if we are serious about it.
“It’s a proposal not backed by law. They may go on and ask the National Assembly to pass a law to that effect.”
Source: PUNCH HealthWise