The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has urged political parties to make drug integrity tests part of the screening requirements for aspirants seeking to contest various political offices in the 2023 elections on their platforms.

NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, made the proposal in response to questions from reporters on Wednesday at the agency’s national headquarters in Abuja.

“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,” he said at the agency’s 2022 First Quarter Best Performing Commands Awards ceremony

“For this reason, we have advocated and will continue to advocate that drug test be conducted for politicians; some state governments like Kano State is already doing this.

“Not just politicians, but government appointees, and I’ve just sent a letter this morning to the National Chairman of APC, who will be the first of the national working committee I wish to pay an advocacy visit on this issue. I recommended that drug tests be incorporated in the screening process for all those interested in running for public office; we’ll do the same to the PDP and other important parties.”

NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, briefs reporters at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja on April 27, 2022.

According to Marwa, the ceremony has become part and parcel of NDLEA’s corporate culture while recognising and rewarding hard work and excellence has always been a pragmatic way of stimulating productivity and enhancing the attainment of organisational goals.

He also highlighted some of the feats the agency has recorded in the last three months, including the arrest of over 3,500 suspects.

“Statistics from the first quarter (Q1) report indicated that our performance level has not dropped off,” said the NDLEA chief. “Indeed, achieving 3,539 arrests, 677 convictions, and seizures of 65,916 kg of drugs in three months is no mean feat.

“Little wonder our performance continually earns the agency deserved accolades from the right quarters within the country as well as from abroad, especially from international partners and peers.

“While we have not yet achieved the utopia of a drug-free society, the results showed that we are getting it right.”

He told the officers that the awards and commendations were expected to spur them to surpass their current feats at the next awards ceremony.