from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – INDIVIDUALS seeking political office in next year’s general elections in Nigeria could be required to undergo drug tests.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is advocating for such screening in an effort to avoid the election of leaders hooked on drugs, lest they abuse public funds to feed their addiction
Such a proposal shows the extent of the drugs problem in the West African country, which is the biggest in the continent by population and the economy.
Ret. Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, has urged political parties to make drug integrity test part of the screening requirements for aspirants seeking to contest political office.
He disclosed sending a letter on Wednesday morning to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the issue.
Marwa also revealed he would be sending a similar request to the main opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“I recommended that drug tests be incorporated in the screening process for all those interested in running for public office. We will do the same to the PDP and other important parties.”
Marwa was speaking in the capital Abuja at an awards ceremony for the NDLEA.
He disclosed the agency had made 3 539 arrests and secured 677 convictions in the first quarter of the current year.
More than 65, 916 kg of drugs were seized during the period.
“While we have not yet achieved the utopia of a drug-free society, the results showed that we are getting it right,” Marwa said.
Nigeria will next year old its seventh general election since the advent of civilian rule in 1999.
Muhammadu Buhari, in power since 2015, is ineligible because of term limits.
– CAJ News