Nigeria seeks to mandate drug testing on intending couples and politicians as means to tackle wide-spread drug abuse

Disturbed by increasing drug abuse cases, a former Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, advocated drug tests for all individuals seeking elective political office to ensure that they are not drug addicts. Sanusi called at a three-day workshop on the anti-substance abuse awareness campaign and training the trainers held in Kano.

Disturbed by increasing drug abuse cases, a former Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, advocated drug tests for all individuals seeking elective political office to ensure that they are not drug addicts. Sanusi called at a three-day workshop on the anti-substance abuse awareness campaign and training the trainers held in Kano.

His suggestion came before the charge by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) chairman. Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa presented the idea to parents to insist on drug tests for their children’s spouses before marriage.

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The head of NDLEA had proposed that couples intending to get married should do drug tests. He added that the agency is doing everything possible to meet the presidential mandate to curb the use of illicit drugs in the country.

He argued that no parent would want their children to marry drug addicts. Hence is very important for would-be couples to take the test before marriage. He noted that some religious bodies have made it mandatory for intending couples to do one test to ensure a successful marriage, adding that including a drug test in the list should not sound absurd to people.

The two of them are hardly alone in recommending drug tests for politicians, workers and students. Others to join the call are traditional rulers and thought leaders across Nigeria. The Ona of Abaji and Chairman, Federal Capital Territory Council of Chiefs, Abuja, Alhaji Adamu Yunusa, had also thrown his weight behind drug integrity tests for intending couples.

Irked by the menace of drug abuse, Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto State, has established a committee to address the alarming rate of drug abuse in the state.

Lawmakers in Adamawa went even further and passed a law requiring mandatory drug and alcohol tests before one gains employment or admission into public institutions.

Tambuwal, while inaugurating the committee to control the alarming rate of drug use in the state, stated that managing the circulation of illicit drugs and consumption was necessary given the increasing number of youths going into drugs.

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“Married and single women’s involvement in substance abuse is even more problematic, a negative trend that any responsible society could not tolerate.”

“Substance abuse is a major cause of the socio-economic problems our state and country face. These include rising rate of crime and insecurity, ill health, lack of productivity in all sectors and poverty,” he said.

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