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NDLEA plans drug tests on students, security operatives, workers

The Punch logo The Punch 26/01/2021 The Punch

Adelani Adepegba and Grace Edema

THE Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Marwa (retd.), has ordered the state commanders of the agency to mop up illicit drugs across the country.

He also hinted that the agency would seek government’s approval to conduct drug tests on students of tertiary institutions, security personnel and newly appointed government employees.

Marwa stated this during a meeting with commanders of the 36 states, Federal Capital Territory and special commands at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday.

While tasking the commanders to rid the streets of illicit drugs, the NDLEA boss also admonished them to “shape up and get all those engaged in the nefarious business to face the music, and I need results from now on”.

He noted, “Our maxim will be offensive action. This means we must go all out constantly on the offensive against the bad guys.

“The success we make of this particular task goes a long way to determine the socio-economic stability of the nation. We need not be told of the nexus between drug use, crime and criminalities.”

Reacting, the National Association of Nigerian Students, Mr Sunday Asefon, said, “If NDLEA is going to do any test, I know our students across all our institutions in the country are very good. NDLEA should face Nigerian police and truck drivers.”

The Head of Department of Psychologist, University of Lagos, Prof. Bamikole Fagbohungbe, said, “If they conduct the test, what is the end result? They should stop wasting the resources of this country on such things. How do they monitor? How many times are they going to conduct drug tests on students? How will they invade the privacy of students?

“Do they even have the capacity to carry out the test? I don’t know their motive; if we know their motives, we could go further. Is it the students consuming the drugs they should monitor or the border and the smugglers who bring the drugs in to the country?

“How many have they arrested at the border, at the airports? How do they police the 25 porous borders that are scattered in the North? It is not feasible; what is their staff strength? They just want to come up with a bogus programme to defraud this country.”

“Drug consumption in this country has penetrated even primary and secondary schools. With the structure and mentality of Nigerians, they cannot do it.”

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