Brigadier-General Buba Marwa has called for integrity drug tests for students and politicians, especially those contesting for public offices in the country.
Marwa, who is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), made the call on Wednesday at a meeting with the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in Marina.
“Running for public offices is a big responsibility. You should not be in this important assignment for the public and your head is filled up because of drugs,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile.
The former Lagos military administrator added, “The drug scourge is now an epidemic in Nigeria. The prevalence is 15 per cent; three times the global average. One in seven Nigerians takes drugs. We have found out that there is nexus between drug use and crime.”
He commended the efforts of the state government on the issue of drug abuse in the State, describing Lagos as the first state in Nigeria in some innovative ways.
In this regard, Marwa asked the government to lead the way with the integrity drug test for students in the state.
According to him, the youths are affected most when it comes to drug abuse, making it necessary for students, especially those in tertiary institutions to take the integrity tests.
In his remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured the NDLEA chief that the government would continue to collaborate with the agency to address the scourge of drug crisis in the country.
He noted that his administration has put in place some measures, among which was building a full-fledged mental health rehabilitation hospital to tackle drug crisis in Lagos.
The governor said, “Indeed, we know that drug abuse is prevalent in our society in all forms and shapes. For us as a government, it is not something we are sweeping under the carpet; we are not denying that it is there.
“Part of the things we are doing to tackle it is to ensure that we have functional and working rehabilitation centres and we are equipping them to identify real caregivers that will take victims through the rehabilitation process.”
“Beyond that, we are actually building a full-fledged mental health rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejinrin in Lagos East Senatorial District.
“This, we believe, will not only have almost 500 beds but will also have a required expertise, medical and all of the complements to ensure that different categories of treatments required are available.”