By G9ija

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency says only one candidate across all political parties contesting for various positions appeared for integrity test in Katsina State.

The NDLEA Commander in the state, Muhammed Bashir, disclosed this in an interview on Tuesday in Katsina.

In the interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Bashir said only the People’s Redemption Party governorship candidate, Alhaji Imran Jino, visited the agency for the test, adding that he tested negative.

He urged politicians contesting for various political positions in the state to come for the test, saying that this would in turn be a message to their supporters.

The NDLEA Commander added that doing such by the politicians would encourage their supporters to shun drug abuse.

Bashir said: “Politicians should not encourage those using drugs within their campaign environment, and we are still advising them to come up for integrity tests.

“I’m happy that one of the governorship candidates has done that; others should take a cue from that.

“If your supporter sees that you’ve come for a test and you are free, he/she will know that you are not going to encourage use of substance during your campaign.”

According to him, the ongoing electioneering ahead of the 2023 general election can only be free, fair and peaceful if politicians caution their supporters against drug abuse.

Bashir added: “As a politician, you don’t need to give drugs to your supporters for them to be able to support you and you don’t need to be violent.

“We usually say that drug abuse is the mother of all crimes.

“If you’re giving them drugs, you are encouraging them to go into other crimes.

“It then means that campaign will not be free and the election is not likely going to be free and fair too.”

While urging politicians to engage in issue-based campaign, Bashir said that they should desist from giving their supporters drugs and caution them against selling drugs at campaign grounds.