ABUJA — Buba Marwa, chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has called on the federal government to broaden its approach to combat drug abuse in the country.
According to the drug enforcement chairman, drug tests should be mandated for citizens, particularly the youths, the group most prone to drug abuse.
While speaking to NAN on Monday, he posited that public office holders should also be mandated to undergo an integrity drug test.
Citizens reaching for certain milestones such as students seeking admission, couples set for marriage should also undergo the test. He urged that public office holders should not be exempted.
“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 test 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.
“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,” he said.
Marwa stated that the idea behind the call for the test is only to reduce the prevalence of drug abuse in the country.
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