From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) request to political parties to carry out drug integrity testing for aspirants is another wake-up call about the epidemic nature of drugs in Nigeria, the Adopt initiative has said. A Goal (AAGI).
The civil society group said the national unrest sparked by the appeal was an important score for the NDLEA to alert politicians and policy makers to the pervasive danger of drug abuse.
“We salute the patriotic zeal and courage of the Chairman of the NDLEA, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (Retired), for making this introspective appeal which has piqued the conscience of the political class,” AAGI said in a statement released on Sunday. by its executive director, Ariyo-Dare Atoye.
“We may not be able to determine the contribution of drugs to the moral decay of leadership and poor governance that has affected millions of Nigerians except that we agree with General Marwa’s recommendation.
“Had political parties agreed to include drug testing in their screening process, it would have substantially committed the next group of leaders from 2023 to partner with the NDLEA to fight the scourge of drugs. in the country.
“Because the NDLEA will not publish names of individuals but statistics, many Nigerians may not be aware that there are significant families and individuals in the corridor of power who struggle with drug addiction.
“Mental health is the most critical factor in leadership thinking and action; if drugs spoil everything, the people will also suffer from abuse of power and mismanagement of affairs.
“For too long our politicians have dithered over the drug scourge, and it is high time they did something and fully support the NDLEA with the resources to fight it.
“We wish to urge the NDLEA and Nigeria’s Drug Czar, General Marwa, not to be deterred by the reckless attitude of political parties and their leaders in the face of a well thought out request that will do much good to the country. .
“As a civil society group, we will continue to support the NDLEA to adopt all necessary measures to combat the drug epidemic, including exploring the possibility of future engagement of these political parties and actors. .
“Every affected individual must pledge to fight against the cancer of drugs which is eating away at the future of many and threatening the security and peace of our society,” the statement added.