Bill to bar drug users from public offices coming



The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has disclosed that it is working on a Bill to stop drug users from participating in governance at all levels of administration in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Agency, Brig Gen. Buba Marwa disclosed this during a radio interview monitored by Daily Times in Lagos on Friday.

According to Marwa, the bill will make it compulsory for political office seekers and appointees to be certified drug-free to be qualified for such positions.

Blaming some cases of bad governance and misuse of public funds on drug indulgence, Marwa told his audience that it was imperative that Nigeria considers making sure that people with drug cases are kept away from managing the affairs of the country, considering that the habit stalls their sense of sound reasoning.

He said: “We are working on a bill to stop people with drug habits from either running for political office or being considered for political appointments.

If it scales through, it will be made compulsory for prospective appointees to have their tests before coming to office and it will be done at all levels from councillors to the President. Drug use is responsible for some cases of misappropriation of public funds which we hear of in the country”.

The NDLEA boss has been at the forefront of introducing this measure in the Nigerian polity.

It will be recalled that during the primaries by political parties ahead of the 2023 elections, he made profuse calls on the political parties to adopt drug test as one of the measures to approve their candidates’ eligibility.

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“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”, he had said then.

Although no country in the world has implemented this kind of law, the proposition by the NDLEA has been applauded in certain quarters.

Apart from religious bodies, the House of Representatives and the Nigerian Bar Association have at various times made similar calls.

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